Danny Duster's Dirty Deeds
By Flashsoft
Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #98

Hands up if you wanna be a scrubber (Oh whoopie-do, it's double entendre time - Ed). Oh not it's not, there's absolutely no filth in this review - we're talking mega clean. Nick Roberts dons frilly pinny and size nine curlers for some serious dust disposal...

Danny Duster's Dirty Deeds

In a luxurious penthouse flat, somewhere near )unction nine of the M6, lived Mrs Winifred Shine, a lonely old biddy with a robust constitution, who once ran a bendy straw and shopping trolley testing lab just outside Nantwich. Now a fulltime cushion plumper-upper at' Barbara's Mix & Mingle Massage Parlour', she never has time to do any housework.

Fortunately, her third most prized possession - after her suede jacket and two-speed hammer drill - is a thrifty little duster by the name of Danny 'as in Oh Danny boy, your sleeping bag is leaking...').

There's always plenty of dirty work to be done-delivering Brazilian drug barons to the CIA, breaking into the Queen's bedroom and sniggering at her bidet, visiting Glasgow to pick up all the broken bottles, things like that (I think you mean housework, don't you? -Ed).

Danny the Duster was kept very busy but Mrs Shine treated him well (wring him out In a bowl of hot soapy water every now and then, sewed up his seams, let him watch The Les Dennis Laughter Show from time to time and tickle her terrapin). But Danny's only a grubby old piece of cloth, with a My Little Pony Abattoir Set, a black and white poster of Dolly from Emmerdale Farm and a Vital Sassoon Toupe Trimmer. A run-of-the-mill duster, no worries or inhibitions. Until one day...

Marvellous Mould

Mrs Shine ran off with the Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman and forgot all about little Danny and the cup cake crumbs she was hoovering out the shag-pile (rather nice tufted carpet, great for lighting fires or hiding your granny's hip replacement in!).

Weeks passed and Danny noticed these crumbs were beginning to grow a nasty green mould (the sort of stuff you find on your budgie if you leave it in a bin bag!). Soon It spread all round the house and over Danny as well!

He began to feel rather strange (that sort of 'Oh God, I've just swallowed a deckchair-type feeling). Believe It or not, he was mutating! The mould caused arms and legs to grow out his seams! He could move! He could walk! He could eat three cream crackers with a glass of water on his head!!

Danny was soon testing out his new limbs, leaping merrily about the worktops In the kitchen, flicking dust off the mantleplece In the living room and scraping shoe polish off the baby in the broom cupboard.

Pick-Up To Freshen Up!

As Danny, you move through five parts of the house, dusting, scrubbing and cleaning as you go. The abode must be spick-and-span, in case Mrs Sheen returns unexpectedly and begs forgiveness (Danny's an optimistic little chappie).

Clear the bedroom of smelly old tights, cough mixture stains, mugs of rancid coffee and wincyette nightgowns with egg down the front Wipe away cobwebs, fag ends and turd-tinged nappies In the lounge and dining room.

The bathroom contains hairy soap, dirty underpants shoved down the back of the radiator, earwigs, chickens and dogs having a frolic in the bath and spiders doing the Hokey-Kokey In a soap dish.

The action's flip-screen and there's a wild and wonderful assortment of pick-ups to help you complete the task; air freshener, Shake 'n' Smack, wax polish, dish cloths, bleach and the like we all at your disposal. Just don't eat or drink any of them - they're highly dangerous. Esther Rantzen would be none too happy and the doctor doesn't come out on a Sunday - he's busy watching Highway and fiddling with his collection of ballcocks.

It's Beadle!

The final showdown is in the attic. Clear the grime off beams and rafters, replace broken floorboards, tidy up old boxes of junk, and white you're at it, find Hugh Scully and enquire as to whether that ornamental truss you've located Is worthy of an appearance on the Antiques Roadshow.

A highly original game, with some of the best graphics yet seen on the Spectrum, Danny's superbly animated and he controls really well. (A tip for joystick owners. If you place a knob of butter on your elbow, Danny jumps higher. It may sound crazy, but it's true!)

Housework has never been one of my favourite pastimes but it's no chore with this mutant duster!

Jumping on the creepy crawlies, such as Jonathan King, Jeremy Beadle and, Timmy Mallet is great fun and highly rewarding.

There's a jolly in-game tune throughout and great spot FX. Listen to the spiders scream as you spurt hairspray in their eyes and marvel at the way the cockroaches groan when you strangle them with dental floss!

Hidden on one of the stages is a bonus level, which I'll leave you to find. Leap on platforms killing dust mites, smother woodworm and avoid the large nestles, a cross between Attila the Hun and Robert Kilroy-Silk.

Dirty Deeds is a real challenge. It's instantly playable, totally addictive and oozes originality. The scenario's so believable, you soon actually feel like you're a duster!

Flashsoft have a sure fire winner on their hands. It's worthy of more than a Crash Smash! I can't wait for a follow up! If you don't buy Dirty Deeds, you're more of a fool than I am [and that is saying something - Ed]!

NICK ... 97%

Lucy ... 98%

It's very rare I have time to do reviews these days, but one glance at this game and I was quite literally gob-smacked and knew I'd have to make an exception. I've never, ever seen anything like this on the Speccy before - it's hard to describe how good it is. An avid hater of housework, it's amazing that this game lets me be a total scrubber (watch it you lot- one word and you're dog meat!) without sparking off my usual hyper-allergic reaction (which usually involves dashing round the house in an Andy Pandy suit screaming the 'Flower Pot men are gonna get me!'). Apart from the utterly scrumptious graphics, Danny's just so real. (Corky had a hell of a shock when the over-zealous rag sprang out the monitor and blasted his glasses with a good dose of Windolene.) He's bursting with character (Danny, not Corky!) and the action's fast and furious. Basically, with this game, your Speccy's gonna think it's died and gone to heaven.

Za ... 96%

I've seen some unusual things In my time. Nicko burn a Pet Shop Boys cassette-single, Lucy stay tee-total (for all of one lunchtime), Corky eat less than three hundredweight of sarnies (and seven gallons of ultra-caffeine coffee). But they're nothing compared to Danny Duster's Dirty Deeds (try saying that three times fast while chewing a slice of seed cake - even Amiga Psycho Soccer pales in comparison. Danny's an unusual and charismatic sprite, fun to control through Mrs Shine's dusty, grimey, vermin-infested abode - who said spring cleaning was drab? Detailed and colourful, the graphics are as lively as the wacky gameplay, and though fairly hissy, the sampled sound effects are wonderful. It's not often a game this good crops up out of the blue (like a decent guest on Wogan), but when they do It makes you glad the Speccy was invented. A classic.

Lucy HickmanNick RobertsWarren Lapworth

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