Designing elegant graphics so that loads of screens add up to some sort of building, has been all the rage since JSW, but this new Mirrorsoft platform games takes the idea about as far as possible, and features one of the most classically elegant buildings in any game. Dan's girlfriend (our pre-production copy lacks a scenario) appears to have been locked in the vast safe tucked in the depths of a massive porticoed, pillared mansion inhabited by a variety of unpleasant denizens. Dan arrives on the roof (trendily in time for the new Bond movie) in an airship, descends from it, and commences a mission of rescue. Should you enter the screen containing the safe, you'll see the girl pacing up and down in frustration and, presumably, in an advancing state of asphixiation.
The collectable objects in this game are sticks of dynamite (eight needed to blow the safe), a weapon to defend yourself with against the rioting rotters, and food to keep up the energy level that distressed damsel rescuing demands. Food is a relatively simple find - being a wealthy house, there's plenty lying around, but dynamite tends to hide in very inaccessible places; worse still, it isn't in the same place each game.
The house is divided up into 48 slightly overlapping screens, six high, eight wide, but they wrap around horizontally, making the building effectively a cylinder. All along the bottom runs a river. This can be negotiated by waiting for a raft to float by, jumping down onto it and keeping up with it by walking at its speed. Falling into the river is quite fatal, unless you have been lucky enough to discover an oxygen bottle somewhere. Above the river is a warren of foliage-lined caves and grottos, gradually mingling with the bowels of the house, pump rooms, boiler rooms, electricty-generator and store rooms. Above these are the commodious living apartments with libraries, bathrooms, dining rooms, sitting rooms and the like. The building is topped off by the roof with its chimneys and classically domed towers.
Different features include trampolines and entire trampoline rooms, tightropes, several teleports and an all-floors lift. Dan himself is a large animated character with a fair-sized jump, which he needs to negotiate the complexities of the house and avoid the numerous nasties, although if he falls too far he loses a life.
And just to add a little extra excitement to solving the puzzle, a nice lady at Mirrorsoft told us that the first person to phone them with the name of the tune played when the airship takes off at the end of the game will win a flight in the Goodyear blimp.