Orm And Cheep: The Birthday Party (Macmillan) Review | Home Computing Weekly - Everygamegoing

Home Computing Weekly


Orm And Cheep: The Birthday Party
By Macmillan
Commodore 64

 
Published in Home Computing Weekly #133

Lunchtime TV favourites Orm and Cheep appear in this companion to Narrow Squeaks which was reviewed in a previous issue of HCW.

It is Orm the worm's birthday and his friends Cheep, Mole, Snail, Hedgehog and Mouse have all been invited to his party. Cheep has the job of rounding everybody up because they are lost. Mole is in his labyrinth of tunnels and the other three are somewhere around the maze of roads which surround Orrn's house. Also lurking about are the villains of the piece: Crow, Cat and Rat.

Using only the fire button of a joystick or' by pressing any key on the keyboard, Cheep's direction can be controlled until all of the party goers have been found.

Before setting out or. his search, Cheep must help Orm to find the ingredients for his birthday cake. All of these items are hidden in jars and after being told what is in each jar, Cheep must find them in the order which Orm indicates. Failure sends the pots crashing to the floor and the game repeats until Cheep is successful.

The mazes are not too difficult and detailed mapping is not really necessary but, as the instructions suggest, it is a good idea to encourage the child to map out the scene.

Above ground the road junctions each have a signpost and the colour of each arm of the sign changes in turn and pressing the key moves Cheep in the direction indicated. Underground Cheep moves to each exit in turn and after finding Mole the route must be retraced until the door to the outside world is located.

The nastier creatures are found lurking at various points around these mazes and underground they block some of the tunnels but above ground they can be eliminated if Cheep has the correct members of the party with him.

The hardest part of the game comes when the party begins. All of the friends must find their correct place at the table under Orrn's guidance. As you change their positions, Orm turns his head and a beep is heard for each party member who is in the correct place. Confusion can be caused because Orm also counts himself as a member of the party and his empty place is also indicated by a beep. If, for example, three places have been found which include Orrn's position, and one of the other two correctly placed party goers is moved to Orm's place, the beep tally drops from three to one. I fee! that this could utterly confound a very young child's attempt to complete this section of the game.

This is further compounded by Crew's arrival when Orm has disappeared to fetch his birthday cake because the friends panic and move around the table. On Orm's return, the player must then. rearrange the party goers but the acceptable order has changed and the trial and error process must once again be undertaken.

If the programmers had decided to give an option whereby the correctly placed visitors flashed or something, I think the game would have wider appeal to a younger audience.

The graphics are of quite a high standard generally and the sound is not unpleasant. Really my only qualms relate to the difficulty level of the game which I feel would seriously challenge many adults let along children. Since I have seen how children seem to have an inborn affinity towards computer games I may well be proved wrong but I'm sure that this package will keep many a little horror totally engrossed for long peaceful periods.

E.D.