It's no joke being transformed into a slimy toad, so there's a lot of incentive to succeed in this Q*Bert spin-off.
The wicked old witch who's been messing around with your body chemistry is Griselda the Necromancer. She appears on screen, in hideous detail, to the left of the castle steps which are your escape route. She has a luminous green face. a nasty pointed chin and an evil grin as well as a bubbling cauldron containing the spells she casts onto the steps.
To the right of this 3D pyramid is the web of Manfred, Griselda's pet spider, where you are imprisoned if caught. The whole business makes escaping from Colditz seem child's play.The game has twelve levels. On the first you begin at the top and have to colour all the steps, as in Q*Bert. Chasing after you are horned, yellow devils who move far too quickly for comfort. Practice and a few prayers should see you through this - it's the next level that'll have you tearing your hair out.
Here the devils are supported by a gangling skeleton whose skull still seems to contain a number of brain cells. He (or she - it's difficult to sex a skeleton) will chase you into a corner if you're not very careful.
And now I have a confession to make. I couldn't get any further. Believe me, I tried. I suppose I'll just have to learn to love life as a toad!
Spellbound is a wonderfully innovative development of the Q*Bert theme with excellent graphics. It boggles the mind to think what Griselda's got cooking