Commodore User

By Elite
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #44


Scooby-Doo must be the only program in TV history to get away with having the same ending every week. Surprise, surprise kids, the old house *wasn't* haunted at all. It was Mr Brown the baker and Mr Green the grocer dressed up in white sheets. They wanted to keep people away from the house so no-one would discover that the huge quantities of food they were delivering were in fact stolen bars of gold craftily disguised as bananas and chocolate eclairs.

The Elite version has the gang - Velma, Shaggy, Daphne and Fred - seized by a couple of nutty scientists, a slight variation on the theme. Scooby must rescue them before, well, before the end of the program I suppose.

It's a platform game in the classic style, a bit like snakes and ladders without the board and dice. Scooby, with your help, must make it from the ground floor to the top via a number of strategically-placed ladders. He will get there a lot quicker if you manage to avoid falling through the numerous trapdoors. He won't get there at all unless you can steer clear of the hordes of ghosts which appear from behind every door and wall.


The alternative to running away is to stand your ground and punch them on the nose. Don't bother beating them around the head until they disappear, it's a waste of valuable time. A couple of bans is enough to despatch them.

If you can't run fast enough, or the old left hook isn't timed with precision, the ghost sends Scooby into a dizzy spin, which not only costs you more time, but loses one of your five lives.

There were a couple of things that really irritated me. In order to reach a convenient ladder, you have to walk along the corridors past several doors from which appear the ghouls and spooks. Very often they jump on you just as you're passing the door, you don't have a chance. To make matters worse, when you've been done in by a spook, you can't move anywhere without having to shove the joystick twice in a particular direction. By the time you've got that one sorted out they're virtually on top of you again.

Despite those grumbles, the game has a lot going for it. The graphics are great, the 'interior design' of the house being one of the best I've seen in any C16 platform game. the idea is as old as the hills, but the game succeeds all the same. Scooby-Doo wasn't a huge success with C64 owners who tend to be a bit more fashion-conscious about their games - platforms are out this year. It deserves to do a lot better on the C16.

Ken McMahon

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