Snapperazzi logo

Bub and Bob, Zool, Soccer Kid and James Pond all have one thing in common. They're endearing characters in platform games. Not that empathy is the most important element in a computer game, but if you can identify in some way with your pixelated pal then the chances are, you'll want to keep playing.

Step forward Snapperazzi, a platform game about an alien news photographer from the planet Dirt whose ambition is to work for The Sun. To get his certificate in photographic dirty work, Snazzi must snap his way through seven worlds as well as a host of sub-levels.

Snazzi is deliberately portrayed as a baddie and indeed, he is a horrible little chap sporting an inane grin, a trilby and a flashing camera. No-one in the Amiga Format office likes the character Snazzi. This is not a good start. If you look at a character and say "Uuuurggh", it's generally the case that you won't be clutching that joystick for long. That is, unless the gameplay is totally brilliant, and incredibly exciting. Ahem.

Not only are The Sun involved in Snapperazzi, there's a pizza company involved as well as a brand of fizzy sweets and they have their own levels. I'm not against the idea of sponsorship and brand tie-ins but when they are splashed across the screen of an average-to-poo, platform game then.. actually, they're a pleasant distraction from the mundanity of the game.

You see, Snapperazzi is rather similar throughout. Sure, the levels are huge and there are 14 sub-games, but the worlds all look and feel very similar, and there are very few intricacies to the gameplay.

You bowl along, collecting rolls of film and snapping celebrities for cash, while avoiding Page Three girls shops. Yes, the shops, because old Snazzi is a shopaholic.

Snapperazzi is bright and colourful but this doesn't disguise the fact that the graphics are rather dull. There are a few good sound effects, but overall it's all indescribably tacky. Snapperazzi just doesn't hit the mark.

Snapperazzi logo

Snapperazzi: only in your super, soaraway £3.95 AMIGA POWER this month.

Snapperazzi? Crapperazzi more like. But hey, don't take our word for it, here's what your 20p Sun's got to say: "The game is packed with new ideas and an immense variety of gameplay". Cor blimey, stone the crows etc. But that's not all, guvnor, not by a long chalk. The flagship of Rupert Murdoch's publishing empire further expounds, "Most games have classy 3D characters on the box which look nothing like the actual sprite. But Snapperazzi looks exactly like the same in the game as he does on the box. You get what you see!"

So you know what to do. Stop reading the review now. Take your 20p Sun's advice, go down the shops,t ake a look at the box and run away, run away.

Sure, the game is packed with ideas, but they aren't particularly new and the gameplay is labouring under the weight of incompetence. There are plenty of platformers out there which don't have as many things to do in them, but still seem a lot more fun to play.

One thing's for sure. The graphics have a distinctly unpolished look to them. Now that doesn't really make much of a difference in our book, but the background graphics need some explanation. The Sun implied (as did the people who came to the office to promote the game) that the backgrounds were something special, something they have been told would slow the game down, something that hadn't been done before, something Snapperazzi had to master only, something unique.

I can let them into a little secret. There's nothing particularly new about colour cycling. If they want to see it put to effective, big boy's use, then I suggest that they take a look at the tunnels in Stardust. Now that's impressive, make no mistake.

No, the backgrounds in Snapperazzi are nauseatingly, headache-inducing. After about ten minutes I felt sorely in need of an anti-emetic and an aspirin.

And what about the actual game? The basic play concerns the snapping of celebrities and the collection of money and film. Onc eyou've snapped the celebs, you have to go underground and collect other pizza pieces or Fizzy Chewits (you'd never guess who the sponsors are). From there, it's into space in a flying saucer that you'll have managed to build up from the assorted pieces.

I suppose this could have been fun but there are too many important niggly things that get in the way. Up to jump (never god) is made worse by the need of pixel-perfect platform placement. There is nothing more annoying in a game than having nearly reached the top of a series of platforms only to get your positioning slightly wrong and end up at the bottom again; this happens lots with Snapperazzi The game doesn't recognise a second disk drive. Obviously.

Snappi haas the feel of a rush job, with the emphasis on 'rush' not 'job'.

Snapperazzi logo In the Bin: Snapperazzi is the worst game of March 1994


If there was ever a game that could win an award for being the most sponsored in the software industry, this would have to be it. Not only is The Sun newspaper behind it, but so are Fizzy Chewits and Domino Pizzas. While it is encouraging to see so many large companies taking an interest in the game world, it's a shame they had to sponsor such a terrible game. No, scratch that, Snapperazzi is staggeringly terrible.

Alternative have surpassed themselves with creating a game that plays on the lowest interests. Levels like Planet Of The Page Three Girls and Planet Royale should give you some idea of the topics covered. You play the Snapper, a small but willing photographer who wants to get into the world of the paparazzi.

To prove his worth to The Sun editor, he has to race around some large, jerky levels, taking pictures of some of the most misshapen sprites ever seen, while collecting rolls of film and trying to avoid bills, shops and anything else that might try to takes his money. He also needs to collect enough delicious Domino pizzas, so he can then build a space ship to take him to the next level.

I'm sorry, but this is really a dreadful game. The joystick controls are sticky and wooden feeling, the sound effects are drab and basic, and the garish use of background colours gives the game a very confused look. I can't think of anything positive about this game at all. Even the box front looks like it was thrown together in the dark.