If you didn't have us lot at AP to aid you in buying games and just went for the ones that looked interesting, I reckon you'd end up disappointed a lot of the time. Here's a case in point. Stuart rather kindly let me choose the budget games I wanted to review this month, and after looking at the plot lines and screen shots I chose this as one of them. I thought it looked wacky, different and refreshing.
Basically if i'd have been in a shop clutching eight quid, this is the one I would have gone for. Let's see how it strikes you. A video printing press has been invented, but has been accidentally blown up by Doc Croc, blasting the latest edition of the comic he works on all over the sewers.
There are four characters which you control around the sewers to pick up the bits of the video printing press and the pages of the comic and bring back the joke punchlines.
You choose the character you want to control from the Doc's office, then choose one of the four drains they can enter. From then on it's 8-bit-style platform antics all the way, with the emphasis on jumping and avoiding things. If you find that character's comic page you can enter the page and play a little sub-game to get to the punchline jokes.
If you find another character's comic page, remember where it is and on the next go send that character to get the punchline. (If all this sounds familiar, it's because it's all based on the old kiddies' TV show Round The Bend. In fact, the game was a Round The Bend licence in its 8-bit incarnation, but now, probably because the show's not on any more, it's got a new name. Shame they did not change the title screen, though. Okay, Tim, all yours again. - Ed)
There's a time limit to do it all in, of course, and finding a punchline increases the time left to complete the task. See? It sounds great, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to its promise. One of the most irritating factors is that if you get hit by anything you're immediately sent back to the office, which is more than a bit annoying when you're just getting the hang of one of the drains.
The graphics have a very b-bit look to them, which isn't too shabby but definitely could be better. Probably the worst thing about the game, though, is that you never feel rewarded for your efforts, I guess until you've finished the game (which I haven't).
Okay, so you might find a few pages, but half the time you're using the wrong character so you can't do anything with them. The levels get easier with familiarity, but can still be annoyingly tricky, and before you know it is time's up and the game's over, and you feel like you've achieved nothing.
Most of us play games to get some sort of feeling of satisfaction, even if it is from the complete annihilation of a species, so I can't see this one being on anyone's play-list for long.