Boring relatives - we've all got them. How many Sunday afternoons have you spent listening to mind-numbingly tedious family anecdotes?
Kid has exactly the same problem. His great uncle Indiana Stallone is always harping on about his adventures in the Amazon jungle, ancient Egypt and California. I ask you - ancient Egypt!
One Sunday it all becomes too much for Kid so he sneaks up to the old junk room that serves as his uncle's study to hide. Poking around, he discovers a pair of old boxing gloves and decides to try them on. As soon as he does, the gloves begin to sparkle. Thinking this is a bad sign, Kid tries to remove the gloves, but when they touch there's a blinding flash and Kid wakes up to find himself in a prehistoric jungle. Oh 'eck!
You take the roole of the unfortunate Kid in his quest through the five time zones. They include the Amazon jungle, the Ice Age, ancient Egypt, London in the industrial revolution and 1960s psychedelic California - looks as though uncle Indiana was quite an adventurer after all!
The game is spread over 50 screens, each zone consisting of ten screens, and they contain falling platforms, precarious obstacles and dangerous inhabitants that can kill you with a single touch. Fortunately Kid can be revived as long as he has enough magic to regenerate, and enemies can be taken out with a well placed shot from a weapon. After the tenth screen of each zone, the gloves transport Kid to the next era, each one taking him back closer to home.
You start off armed with a catapult and a pair of magical Deathcoins which can knock out most adversaries. Extra items are found on the way such as smart bombs for clearing difficult screens, food for bonus points and cash that Kid uses to buy additional weapons, lives and magic spells.
Spells such as "Frozen" come in useful when creatures block the way and "Sesame" opens barriers if you forgot to pick up the keys.
Can you help Kid get back to hiis own time or will the game end up like The Time Tunnel?
The graphics style is similar to other games in this genre: the cute main character, glowing pick-up items and bouncing adversaries set the general tone for the proceedings ahead. Having said that, all the elements have been well-drawn with a liberal use of colour - especially in the psychedelic Californian scenes where it's so colourful that it's difficult to see exactly where the platforms and creatures are at times! Each level has its own look and feel, with creatures and scenery appropriate to the time and place - even if the Egyptian scenes seem to contain a lot of Roman elements!
The sound consists of the usual boppy ditty and pinging spot effects, but let's face it, a stirring anthemic soundtrack and crashing samples would seem just a tad out of place.
The cutesy presentation gives the impression that Kid Gloves is a jolly old laugh, but there'll be a few rude words flying around when you fall off that platform for the fifth time in a row!
The early screens are easy enough, giving you the chance to get used to the controls and the format before encountering the really tricky levels. These require some planning and you'll be battling away for a long time before you get it right.
Kid Gloves is a fun game that should prove adequate fodder for starved platform fans, but those not converted to this classic format should test the water carefully before parting with their dosh.