Toy Bizarre

Publisher: Activision
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #15

Toy Bizarre

Included in the useful inlay of Toy Bizarre is this playing tip from the author himself:

'Listen, it's important to remember that you can control Merton while he's in the air. Also, the screen wraps around, that is, move off the left side and you'll appear on the right.' Activision obviously aren't giving anything away except a lecture on what wrap around means!

In this game you are cast as Merton the toy factory maintenance man who is unfortunate to be on the night shift when the factory goes berserk. Your task is to restore order, or die in the attempt, at the very least you will realise what it is to be understaffed.

Toy Bizarre

Essentially Toy Bizarre is a straight forward platform game with four levels. On each of three of the levels there are two valves which periodically pump out a squidgy purple object, later identified as a balloon. If Merton can be encouraged to burst the balloons he will score points, however, should any of the balloons escape they will release a toy, a flying pink submarine, to be exact. Contact with the toys is unhealthy so the more balloons you can destroy the easier your progress will be. Bonus points will be awarded if you turn the valves off thus stemming the flow of balloons, not too much too ask is it? All you have to do is walk past them and off they go. Well life never is that simple and in this case the complication is in the form of an animated bodice called Hefty Hilda.

Hilda spends most of her time chasing you round the screen trying to do you in, as well as turning all of the valves back on. If you are to succeed then you will have to survive to the end of your shift.

Should you survive the first screen you will be presented with another, but it will be harder than the last because the platforms will be arranged so as to make jumping from one to the other that little bit more difficult and of course there will be more balloons. There are a few nice touches to the game which should help to keep you interested. As the toys move to the factory floor, to become balloons again, they will try their best to kill you, your only defence is to hope that one of the toys will land on one of the paired pistons located on each of the platforms, when it does you will be able to stun it simply by jumping up and down on the other piston, I admit it's not a great deal to look forward to but you could give Hilda a nasty shock.


Control keys: O/P left/right, Z to jump
Joystick: Sinclair 2, Kempston, Cursor type
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: above average
Graphics: some disagreement, but they seem smooth enough
Sound: good, with a nice tune
Skill levels: 1 with rapid progressive difficulty
Lives: 5
Screens: unknown, but several

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