Daffy Duck (Hi-Tec) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

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Daffy Duck
By Hi-Tec
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Zzap #87

He splutters worse than Roy Hattersley and plays havoc with his many furry friends... Yes, Phil "Quackers" King gorges himself on a seven-course cartoon feast with orange sauce!

Daffy Duck

Forget Disney 'magic' - for me, none of their cutey-pie cartoon characters can compare with the likes of Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd. P-P-Porky Pig and, of course, Daffy Duck. He may wear a dog collar but he's no saint, always getting into trouble - especially during duck-hunting season!

Hi-Tec's quacking arcade adventure has the cheeky little fella performing tricky tasks on seven colourful cartoon levels. He starts off, fittingly enough, at the film studio. A horizontally scrolling corridor contains plenty of nasties to jump over, or on to temporarily stun them, plus doors leading to various rooms and film sets.

Some of the characters encountered can be talked to: a menu of set phrases enables you to say 'hello', ask what they're doing and if they have any helpful tips. They sometimes give you useful items, but only if you fetch them another object first.

Ducking Below Ground

Leaving the film studio behind, Daffy ventures in to the real world and its sewers. Yes, the second level takes Daffy underground, past gushing pipes and mutant fish as he searches for an exit key. Several electric forcefields stand in the way, and must be turned off by finding and flicking the right switches.

The exit leads to an equally hostile desert. And who should turn up here but Road Runner (just try having a conversation with him!), Wile E Coyote and Speedy Gonzales, who (for some reason) requires a detonator and rocket parts. These are scattered all over the barren, horizontally scrolling landscape with many huge crevasses - crossed by jumping on moving platforms. Like most cartoon characters, though, Daffy can take a lot of punishment: even if he falls down a ravine, all he loses is a bit of energy - which is just as well 'coz he only has the one life.

Level Four's farmyard might seem a friendlier environment, but our daring duck has to dodge squirrels, birds and falling acorns while looking for eggs to take to that rapscallion rooster, Foghorn Leghorn. Water also causes problems as, despite the fact that he's supposed to be a duck, Daffy can't swim - instead he hitches rides on friendly alligators and frogs.

Daffy faces yet more dangers in The City, before helping a pygmy to bake a cake in The Forest, and finally going out of this world to defeat alien invaders on Mars!

That's Not All Folks!

It's been a long time coming but Daffy Duck has been worth waiting for. You can see the amount of work that's gone into creating Daffy's cartoon world with some superlative backdrops and most of his friends making cameo appearances.

Of course, Daffy himself is the star of the show, perfectly drawn and animated to perfection. He even wears different costumes to suit each level, e.g. a hard-hat with lamp in the sewers.

Equal attention has been shown to gameplay. There's nothing revolutionary, but it's all excellently implemented with each level having a distinctive flavour. With simple controls and easy-to-use speech menus, the game's easy to get into and very compulsive, though I don't think it'll hold that much challenge for experienced players. Nevertheless, there's a big incentive to see new levels and meet favourite cartoon heroes. It's a shame some of the latter are just static figures, but nice to see them there nonetheless.

Whether the game would be so enthralling without the well-known characters is purely hypothetical, but the gameplay's strong enough to appeal even if you find Daffy dethhhpicable!

Corky

Cue a small black duck grabbing his beak (which is at the back of his head) and twisting it round while lisping "You're dethhpicable". Daffy Duck's my second favourite Warner Bros character (after The Tasmanian Devil, mainly 'coz I sound like him first thing in the morning), and this game's certainly a goodie. The programmers should give themselves a bit pat on the back, 'coz in both the graphics and playability stakes Daffy Duck's chuffing brill.

The seven levels are mainly collect-'em-ups, with a small amount of problem-solving thrown in for good luck. Nothing particularly tough there, you may say, but Daffy Duck's very playable nonetheless. Daffy's a cute character who blunders his way through each escapade in his usual mindlessly optimistic way, while many of his pals help out with clues and essential objects. Indeed, all the sprites, both moving and stationary, are masterpieces of computer art.

Go out and buy Daffy Duck now, you'll be "quackers" if you don't [Groan, your P45 is on my desk - Ed].

Verdict

Presentation 87%
Neat intro, long levels make multi-load tolerable.

Graphics 94%
Colourful backdrops are superb. Daffy is perfect.

Sound 85%
Jolly tunes aren't cartoon style but still good.

Hookability 93%
Jumping around collecting objects is compulsive.

Lastability 89%
You only have one life to explore varied levels.

Overall 94%

Phil King

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