Author: Dave E
Publisher: Dave Clarke
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K/+2/+3

Ooh, get up, stand up (c'mon!) see'mon throw your hands up - if you've got the feeling, jump across the ceiling - muggs lifts a funk flow, someone's talking junk - yo I bust him in the eye, and then I'll take the punk's hoe... Um, is that all relevant, Dave E? Sure it is, because it's time to 'jump around'!


Platform games are ten a penny on the Spectrum and, with tools like Arcade Game Designer on the market, it's getting easier and easier to make them. Impossabubble is the latest attempt to tempt the Spectrum owner into yet more flick-screen caverns of collectables and roaming nasties. Its Unique Selling Point is that, in Impossabubble, you play a bubble that is constantly bouncing up and down. This gives you far less control over how it moves than you'll be used to from other platformers and means you will automatically jump small gaps as you move it around.

There are only three controls - left, right and "super bounce". The last one propels you about 2.5 times further than you would usually go. There are also rotors in the bottom of some screens which are constantly on; if you bounce into their air-stream you'll be blown upwards to the top of the screen. In some other locations there are what look like waterfalls but actually behave in the exact same way, blowing you through several screens. Finally, there are pipelines. Bouncing into these takes you to a different set of screens.

The lack of control over the hero makes for some interesting game mechanics - one of the very first rooms forces you to bounce into an air-stream and then to bounce out of it before you hit the ceiling and burst. It takes considerable practice and it's all so tricky that I have to confess that I didn't really like Impossabubble for that reason alone. That's not to say it's a bad game though. Indeed, some people may find it's right up their street with its colourful graphics, bouncy little tunes and polished finish. The map is a reasonable size too.

The trouble is that, despite the professional presentation, the game is just a tad too mediocre to catch the attention of most Spectrum owners. Impossabubble is the sort of game that you'd have found one of the budget houses selling for £1.99. You might well have bought it, but you wouldn't expect too much from it at that price point. So I can advise cautiously that it's worth a look, but I doubt many will return to it after a few plays.

Dave E

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