Crash12th December 2017
Published in Crash Annual 2018
You are El Stompo, a TV repair blob who employs the unique method of fixing broken television sets by stomping on them. Your job is hazardous but you have been highly trained. With a lethal mix of arcade skills and puzzles, this is a mentally challenging task. Once a telly has been stomped and miraculously repaired, it bursts back to life and proceeds to display one of four different programmes.
A number of creatures infest each level - most of them look like they could have crawled out of The Trap Door in Berk, Boni and Drut's accommodation. Needless to say, these are detrimental to El Stompo's health should be barge into one.
One resembles the hero, but in red, there's a kind of thing on a spring, owls, ducks and others. Take care of the slug-like creature that sleeps until El Stompo is on the same level when he awakens and gives chase. Later levels introduce disappearing bridges, melting platforms, switch boxes which operate trap doors, and padlocked passageways - puzzle out how to open them without leaving El Stompo vulnerable to attack.
Spikes at the bottom of some levels spell instant death should the stomping repairman fall on them. On some levels, there are creatures whose job is to guard a special object needed to complete the level and it's up to you to discover which pick-up will persuade the guardians to hand it over.
A firm slap on the top of those old CRT TV sets of the 1980s was the standard way of fixing them when they played up. In this game the hero goes one better and jumps on them.
El Stompo is a really great game, with a level of complexity in the puzzles to get the brain working. Dave Hughes has put a lot of thought into the layout and the objects on each different level. Early levels are set at just the right difficulty so that you can work out the mechanics of the game without getting too flustered. It took some time for me to realise that with each STOMP the character actually carries out four stomps before you can get him moving again. Things soon get difficult and you really have to start thinking hard before moving around.
I really like the mini TV programmes that come on once each TV has been fixed, it's a nice touch. The one thing missing is a tune of some sort - there are only some spot sound effects. El Stompo is highly original, a delight to play - I've spent hours with it - and it's well worth getting a copy.
El Stompo is another good-looking thinking man's game - just fix the TVs on each level by jumping up and down on them - simple, eh? Getting to grips with your little green squidgy character can be a little bit of a test at first - he always wants to move a little further than you want him to. There aren't lives in this game, you just re-start the level if (when) you bump into the nicely animated bouncy enemies that litter each level.
A very addictive little game, this - one that can be filed in the special folder title 'one more go, honest Guv'.
Control keys: Q, A, O, P, SPACE, but all keys are redefinable
Keyboard play: Responsive
Use of colour: Excellent
Graphics: Nicely defined and attractive
Sound: Odd spot effects
Skill levels: One
Lives: Infinite by default
Special features: Nirvana engine graphics
General rating: Great, you'd be mad to miss this one