I'm not quite sure what I was expecting from Gimme Bright. Whilst it was loading, I had read its instructions and they had informed me that the King's lands had become barren and bare and Gimme Bright invited you, as the Sorcerer's Apprentice, to colour them all in again. This sort of put me in mind of something like the C64's Mayhem In Monsterland or even the classic platformer Rainbow Islands.
However, Gimme Bright actually shares many of its elements from Core Design's Car-Vup, a slightly obscure Amiga game that I enjoyed back in the day (late Nineties). Both are platform games containing propelled movement - that is, you cannot stand still, you must be travelling in one direction or the other - and in each you must visit every last paving stone, changing its colour by walking over it. The difference between the two games was that Car-Vup scrolled, Gimme Bright is flick-screen.
To reach higher platforms you must jump and to reach lower ones you just let yourself fall when you reach the edge of the platform you are being pulled along. The difficulty comes in the form of the patrolling nasties that inhabit each screen. Some follow set patterns, all appear in different places every time you enter or re-enter a "room" and all conspire to collide with you and prevent you from your task.
I have to admit a begrudging respect for Gimme Bright. I don't like it as much as Car-Vup because the flick-screen effect makes for some situations where enemies, plotted seemingly at random, just make traversing the screen totally impossible at that time. The answer is to retreat and return, sort of "flick-screening the danger away"... although you could argue that this is a technique for the skilful player to master, personally I find it a bit silly. The patrolling nasties, however, are more fearsome adversaries than they first appear, rocking and rolling across the landscape in such a way that you often find yourself picked off just when you seemed to be really getting the hang of avoiding them.
The game is a little unpolished, with a basic loading screen and spot effects only for sound. However, it runs at a perfect speed and I found it startlingly addictive, even if the idea is not particularly bold or original.
Gimme Bright is available on a physical cassette from Matra Computer Animations and costs 8 Euros. Despite just appearing in Matra's new range of releases, it's actually quite an old game now and was previously available in a compilation, along with Retro Invaders. Like the other new games in this range, this new version comes with much more attractive cover art and a nice embossed cassette. It's a pretty good game, particularly if you like Car-Vup or, if you've never heard of Car-Vup, like colour change games like Q*Bert or Crazy Painter.
Certainly I can imagine spending a lot more hours in the company of Gimme Bright. Despite the flick-screen silliness, it's got a certain quality that I think will appeal to many gamers.