At first sight of Head Over Heels I thought I was back playing Batman, programmer Jon Ritman's last game. To tell you the truth, I could have been playing any of the classic Ultimate games and the horde of clones.
It's very slick, very professional, very pretty and very addictive. And like Batman - remember the massive map C&VG printed? - it appears to be a huge game, packed with puzzles, tricks and complexities which should keep you occupied for hours. You'll probably end up bald from tearing your hair out!
In fact, programmer Jon Ritman says Head Over Heels is around twice the size of Batman. Gulp! How can you possibly get all that into a computer?
On to the plot. The evil empire of Blacktooth has enslaved four worlds, subjecting their people to a rule of tyranny. And the empire's expansionary dreams are not yet fulfilled - and that fills neighbouring planets with a growing sense of unease.
The planet Freedom has decided to send a spy into the Blacktooth empire with the aim to ferment rebellion among the slave planets. To do this, the spy must find the four crowns lost when the empire took over.
When I say spy I should say spies, a pair of creatures which can operate individually but can also unit to form one entity. And those symbiotic creatures are Head and Heels.
The game opens where Head and Heels have been captured separated and jailed in the castle headquarters of Blacktooth.
The two creatures are separated by a wall. They both can set out to explore their surroundings. It appears to be a good idea to unit Head and Heels. I couldn't, but that's my problem. Once together and successfully joined their icons will light up.
Besides the world of Blacktooth, there are the following worlds to explore.
Egyptus, a planet with the emphasis on corpses, wrappings and stone pyramids. Could this be a clue to the layout of the place?
Penitientiary, the prison planet. Mountainous and hostile. Beware the pit. "Don't fall in," warns the cassette notes. If only I could find the pit I'd willingly fall in.
Safari, jungle, natives and traps await you.
Book World, a world devoted to the emperor's love of western books.
Scattered around the screens - all the ones I came across were graphically immaculate - are various objects which must be collected or can be used to help you negotiate the problems.
To be honest, when I first started to play Head Over Heels I wasn't too keen. Another Ultimate rip-off, I thought. But before long I found myself lured into it and, quite frankly, I was having a good time.