The Magic Roundabout Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

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The Magic Roundabout
Spectrum 48K

Published in Personal Computer News #088


Games for micros are borrowing increasingly from other forms of the media. The latest of these is CRL's The Magic Roundabout, in which you control Dougal, trying to build a home before it's time for bed.

Dougal has to keep up his strength, so as he shoves sugar about he also has to eat some of the many white blocks scattered around. The sugar has to be loaded onto a train, which will transport 12 lumps from the platform to the Magic Toadstool. Hazards include most of the other Magic Roundabout characters - Florence, Brian, et al - who float round the forest, but who can be deterred with a quick bark. Contact with them damages Dougal's delicate nose and in the process you lose one of your three lives.

The graphics aren't at all bad. Dougal is shown as a large yellow character, made up from six or eight UDGs. The animation's very smooth, but he does look odd sliding up, or down, the screen. The action takes place on a blue background, dotted with many red trees, which scrolls jerkily as Dougal approaches the limits of the current screen.

The Magic Roundabout

There are a few attribute problems, such as when Dougal passes behind or in front of the trees, but overall it is good.

Toggling F turns on the "music", a staccato rendition of a vaguely familiar air, but I couldn't quite work out what. A two-tone goes when Dougal's immediately next to a sugar jump, indicating he can eat it or push it. It's very handy, but the bark's ineffectual.

There are a few good touches, such as the way the sugar bag at bottom right waxes and wanes as an energy gauge, and Dougal turns to bark at you if you're careless enough to lose him a life (nose?).

Far from an arcade addict's taste, The Magic Roundabout is more for the younger user. But the game's not as easy as it sounds. It can be tricky piling sugar to shove, barking at or dodging Mr. McHenry and his pals, rushing to make the train, keeping an eye on the sugar bag and hoping Zebedee won't appear with his favourite phrase.

Bryan Skinner

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