Super Skweek logo

LORICIEL * £24.99 joystick and keyboard

What have Van Gogh, Adolf Hitler and Skweek in common? They were all painters with a personality problem. Van Gogh went about posting himself to girlfriends, Hitler was a house painter turned genocidal maniac and Skweek simply doesn't know when to quit.

After his first eponymous outing and the countless scrapes therein, you would have thought the fur-ball kid would have retired by now.

Now, thanks to Super Skweek, it seems he's been tempted out for one last pink paint extravaganza. Skweek lives in a world made of tiles, which are normally pink. Disaster has struck the Skweek world though, as all the bright cute pink tiles have turned into a dull shade of grey. King Skweek is distraught and sends for the hero of the day: Skweek.

Fade to grey
Skweek can turn the grey tiles of each level pink again, just by running over them. Obviously, doing this for over a 100 levels would be as dull as watching pink paint dry; so each world is crammed with surprises.

Firstly there are hordes of monsters after Skweeking blood, each of which has ITS own personality and attack patterns in the best Pac Man tradition. Secondly there are stacks of special tiles that make life, well, short. Some explode under his little fluffy feet, others transport him around the land, then there's icy floors on which the poor little beggar can't turn or stop.

The worlds are mercifully packed with bonuses to help the Big S paint the world pink. Some uprate Skweek by giving him greater fire-power, and speed his run up and provide a shield. Others affect the world itself - killing beasties, changing tile colours and so fort - or are point bonuses.

Finally, there are the coins left by dead monsters, which can be saved and spent in shops. These offer all the bonuses, at a price.

Rainbow islands
The worlds he has to pinkify are separated into five groups of 45 islands. Skweek can work through them sequentially, or in a random fashion, until all the levels have been painted the brightest shade of pink imaginable.

Skweek, however, is one of those games where the sum total is greater than the component parts. The game is based on a graphically cute creature and the strange world I which he operates and has a curiously natural logic.

It's packed with the kind of childish humour so often overlooked in favour of mega-death. And ironically, for all it's kiddie trappings, Skweek is one to keep out of the reach of children. You'll never get it back otherwise - and they'll beat your high score!

Super Skweek is an improvement over the original but not a great quantum leap. New touches - such as the two tier flooring - add a greater element of craziness, and that is what Skweek thrives upon. It's good, manic, charging fun, and as such is an ideal puzzle arcade.

Fans of the original should check it out immediately, as should anyone who likes their games to be frantic affairs with a strong element of silliness thrown in.

Super Skweek Tile

A power block may have many effects. Shoot it and see.

Super Skweek Tile

Magic, paints all tiles surrounding it pink when stood upon.

Super Skweek Tile

Entrance to shop. Stand on the square and press fire.

Super Skweek Tile

Monster square, where the nasties come from.

Super Skweek Tile

Fire at these blocks as they flash to ear a points bonus.

Super Skweek Tile

Scatters your shots all around the place in a spread if shot.

Super Skweek Tile

These pulse between being there and not being there. Tricky.

Super Skweek Tile

Transports you to another sub square when you press fire.

Super Skweek Tile

A second floor piece. They usually act as normal tiles.

Super Skweek Tile

This block is not always an obstacle, it can be blasted flat.

Super Skweek Tile

One way squares force you the direction they point.

Super Skweek Tile

A beautiful pink tile, just what a growing Skweek needs.

Super Skweek Tile

This disappears as soon as Skweek stands on it.

Super Skweek Tile

A nasty full grey tile. The main enemy of true Skweeks.

Super Skweek logo

"Skweek", das erste Game mit dem sympatischen Knuddelhelden, kennt hierzulande kaum jemand - in Frankreich hielt es sich monateland in den Hitparaden! Na, vielleicht klappt's ja beim zweiten Anlauf auch im Lande der Dichter und Denker?

Wieder muß das kleine Kartoffel-Sprite über Plattformen laufen und sie so von trübem Grau und Blau in gar fröhliches Rosa umfärben. Dazu sucht man sich eine von fünf Inseln zu je 45 Leveln aus, dann kann die Färbeaktion ihren Lauf nehmen: Zahlreiche Monster der putzigen Art behindern die Malerarbeiten, es gibt Spezialfelder mit Eis, Einbahnstraßen oder Ähnlichem, und manchmal muß sogar ein weiblicher Skweek befreit werden.

Im Gegenzug darf man leckeren Bonusmampf einsammeln und findet Extras wie Sieben-Meilen-Stiefel, Schutzschilder und Streuschüsse.

S mancher Feind hinterläßt nach seinem Ableben Goldmünzen, für die man sich in Shops mit weiteren Hilfen eindecken kann.

Dank der zuckersüßen Comic-Grafik, passendem Sound, ordentlichem Scrolling und exakter Steuerung ist Super Skweek ein Game für Spieler jeden Alters.

Auch kann der niedliche Geschicklichkeitstest nicht allzu schnell langweilig werden: Im Random-Modus bastelt der Computer immer wieder neue Level zusammen, und mit dem eingebauten Construction Kit kann man sogar selbst Hand anlegen.

Da es im Gegensatz zum Vorgänger auch Level mit mehreren Etagen, sowie einen gelungenen Zwei-Spieler-Modus gibt, ist der kleine Färberich in der Neuauflage eine echte Empfehlung! (C. Borgmeier)

Super Skweek logo

The aptly named Super Skweek is actually the follow up to Skweek, a game which I personally thought was pretty good (though not many other people seemed to agree with me). In fact, I thought I'd do a bit of a survey by going round the office and asking everyone a series of questions to see what they thought, and at the end of it drawing up a pie chart or something. (But I didn't).

But anyway, what you want to know is what's the game all about. Well, no problem - here goes. You take control of what appears to be a clump of yellow cotton wool on legs ('Skweek') who has to walk up and down rather a lot of vertically scrolling levels built up out of tiles.

Each tile changes from blue to pink when walked over, so the idea is to, as the saying goes, 'paint the town red' (erm, except here you have to 'paint the level pink'). It all sounds fairly simple - in fact, simple enough to be rather limiting - but luckily there's a lot more to it than that.

The tiles are laid out in the form of a maze for a start, with walls to get in your way and holes to fall through (and die in). They don't all sit there either - some disintegrate, some cause you to slip, some are higher up than others and some conceal secret passages. And then there are the baddies which - Pacman-style - prove deadly to the touch.

And finally, warranting a new paragraph I believe, there are the bonuses. We're talking oodles of them too - at least fifty according to the instructions, and many of them usable at the same time. Most of them take the form or extra fire-power and changes in the way you paint things. But there are loads of other interesting ones too, including one which allows you to freeze all the baddies (sending you straight onto the next level) and another that provides a map.

These bonuses can either be a) picked up after they appear or b) purchased with cash (which appears after you've killed a baddie) from a special shop section, which appears at certain tiles.

In a concluding sort of way, I'd say that this is really rather an original, wacky, cute, addictive, enjoyable (etc.) but ever-so-slightly repetitive sort of game. There are 225 levels (which you can play either in order or sort of randomly) including bonus levels and some sections where you have to kill monsters or rescue skweekettes instead of simply paint, so there's more than enough to keep you going. And there's even a construction kit that allows you to design your own levels if you get bored.

In fact, neat touches abound in this colourful, manic and ever-so-slightly French (i.e. odd) cutesy arcade puzzler inspiring me leap up in the air, and shout 'Hooray'.