Electron User


Clogger

Author: Rog Frost
Publisher: Impact
Machine: BBC/Electron

 
Published in Electron User 6.05

Every now and again something original and fun crops up in the Electron games market - remember Frak and the original, heady days of Repton? Now here is a newcomer which will surely join the list of these all time classics. It's Clogger, a welcome new release from Impact who have moved on from posters, helpsheets and cheats and are now producing full feature arcade games.

Cloggers lived in a strange and mysterious land in days of yore. They were totally peaceful creatures who stomped merrily around on their three feet pushing a bulldozer in front of them. Their lack of a head in no way dimmed their intelligence - in fact they had wonderful powers of observation.

Cloggers also loved art, and it is this love that forms the main drive of the game, since in your attempt to become a Master Clogger you must find pieces of artwork and assemble them to make a complete picture.

Clogger

You aim is to complete 20 landscapes - an Electron bonus as the BBC Micro version has only 18 - by collecting the 21 picture pieces and putting them together in the finish area. Each landscape is about sixteen times the size of the screen and the scrolling is very smooth, both sideways and up and down. Clogger in fact, stays firmly in the middle of the screen spinning his feet like a whirling Manxman while the scenery moves around him.

As well as making the picture, Clogger must also eat all the cakes which are scattered around. These boost your energy and provide 30 extra seconds in which to compete your task. The maximum survival time you can have is ten minutes, so it doesn't pay to gorge too long on cakes - far better to save them until you need them.

Apples are eaten to score points and to get them out of the way. Earth just needs removing before picture pieces can be pushed through it. The bouncy springs can cause a problem, but these can be removed if pushed from the correct side.

Clogger

Apart from lack of time, there is only one fatal problem. Cloggrass grows lush and green in places. Any contact will it will cause Clogger to fade away, but it can be cut. A couple of lawnmowers can be found on each level and these remove the grass with a satisfying noise.

The other tools to be found are the drills. These can remove three thicknesses of wall - or anything else for that matter - and then they vanish. Their use must be carefully planned. There are two more scenery items. Gyroscopes will, if pushed, fly away until they hit a barrier. There they stop unless the barrier was a spring, in which case they fly back to their starting point. Buffers can be pushed around to control the wild movements of gyroscopes.

The task of completing pictures would be all but impossible if you could not access the map. Pressing M will display a clear map of the entire landscape. This shows the current positions of everything, including Clogger himself. The pieces of picture are just shown as blank tiles - no actual picture detail can be seen. Incidentally, while looking at the map, the time ticks away, so map work needs to be hasty.

Clogger

It is also possible to see the completed picture by pressing P at any time. Once again, don't admire the artwork for too long. The third option is to press S to see the status screen which tells you how much time is left, how much of the picture you've completed and how many cakes you must still eat.

The status screen is a true game pause and Clogger time stands still. The game may also be ended here by pressing ESCAPE. At first sight, Clogger has many of the attributes of the Repton games. They play is similar in that your character is steered around a maze in search of goodies. Clogger, however, uses the entire screen for the game and still achieves a speedy scroll.

The characters are all large and colourful, and Clogger himself was conceived with a real touch of humour. I particularly like the way he performs a wheel spin when he bumps into a wall.

Clogger

The sound consists of various beeps and noises which signify different events - pushing a gyroscope, eating an apple and so on.

Clogger is another arcade adventure which will require brain power rather than manual dexterity to solve. At its bargain price, buy it and see it race to the top of the charts.

* * * Second Opinion (By Janice Murray) * * *

Clogger is a superb game very reminiscent of the Repton series, but there are sufficient differences for it to avoid being simply a clone. The graphics are good, and the game is very playable. The main playing screen is a little dull and an attractive border would help brighten things up a little.

If you are a fan of this type of scrolling puzzle game and would like a change from Repton's adventures I can thoroughly recommend Clogger.

Rog Frost

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