Imagine, if you will, a mutant creature. A horrendous genetic hybrid. A blemish on the fact of Mother Nature. A terrible cross between Ronald McDonald and Richard Stilgoe. Pretty scary isn't it? Well, boys and girls, pull your duvet tighter around you because that just about sums up with Rolling Ronny's all about.
Ronny's a clown you see. He's got a cheery red fright wig and a "humorous" nose, plus all the other violently amusing features that Ronald McDonald, that friendly face of international consumer conglomerates possesses. Ronny's also taken to wearing roller
Such a blend could, theoretically, result in two types of game. It could turn out to be a platform game based around a roller-
Luckily no one at Virgin could think of a game about a hamburger, wo we've been given Rolling Ronny instead. Phew.
Ronny, our hero, lives in Fieldington, an unnecessarily zany and wacky fictional cartoon type town. Everything in Fieldington is cheerful and twee. It's the sort of place were people burst into song in the middle of the street, and all the buildings bounce from side to side in time to the music. It's that sort of place - not the sort where you want to wake up with a hangover.
Nor is it the sort of place to steal the Crown Jewels from, but that's what some highly stupid Fieldington thieves have done. Even more stupidly, rather than flog the jewels on the Black Market and move to Rio, the thieves have left the jewels in flashing boxes all over town. Criminal masterminds, eh?
Rather than getting the plods to earn their keep and gather all the jewels back together, they decide to do a spot of delegation and lumber our Ron with the job. I don't know, you pay your taxes, you're a responsible citizen and you end up doing the police force's dirty work for them. Fascist state or what?
Anyway, what it all boils down to is nine levels of scrolling platform action with Ronny risking life and wig to collect these flamin' jewelery boxes. It won't be easy though. Fieldington is a strange, and not entirely safe, place. All manner of spook
Cartoon cars, looking like the Anthil Mob's Chugabug from Wacky Races - and what's a spanking cartoon that was - chunder towards you ready to knock you for six. For protection Ronny can leap on to higher platforms, or defend himself by throwing salami at his aggressors. Why salami? No idea, and I've got a feeling that it might be best if we don't probe any further.
Also along the way Ronny can collect some bonus items to aid him in his quest. Some affect Ronny and give him super powers when selected, others will affect his adversaries to give Ronny some sort of sneaky advantage. Ronny can carry four icons at a time, and they're activated by hitting the relevant function key, in case you were wondering,
As well as looking out for icons and jewelery, you must collect coins which can be used to pay for icons in the shop and to pay for your bus fare to the next level. Coins can be found lying along the way, picked up by shooting the bad guys, or earned y running errands for the good citizens of Fieldington.
You see, every now and then, you'll come across some dopey looking citizen milling around in a rather useless fashion. Walk up to them and they'll offer you an errand. The errands usually involve taking an object to another person or location on that level, although sometimes you may have to retrace your steps to find it.
How much yo earn for an errand will depend on how much the person is willing to give, but you can bargain with them at the risk of losing the job. This adds a much-
Sound is reasonable, although the sound effects are, well, non existent if the truth be told. The tune's great though. It's a boppy sort of circus tune that keeps you humming throughout the game, and also has that wonderful quality of annoying the hell out of everyone around you.
The graphics are very colourful, and they've squeezed in a fair wodge of detail too. The sprites are well varied, and suitably weird, with everything from flying paperback books to incontinent birds out to mark your card. The cars in particular are fun to watch, as are the bouncing unicycles in the sewers. Yep, Rolling Ronny is pretty damn surreal when you think about it. It's also what the Ancient Greeks might have called "a flippin' good game".
If I've got one criticism of Rolling Ronny, it's that it's just a bit too similar to all the other scrolly platform games that have mysteriously started to appear since the console market took off. It's very, very similar for instance, to Ocean's Simpsons game, or Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega MegaDrive. The little errand running bits go some way to make it special, but the essential gamestyle has been done a thousand times.
That aside, Rolling Ronny is a pretty groovy little game. It's easy to get used to and it's challenging, but not impossible. Not quite the coolest dude in town, but certainly cool enough to chill out and do this thang with the "Cool Posse". What ever that means.