Author: Paul Davies
Publisher: RetroSouls
Machine: Spectrum 128K

Published in Crash Annual 2021


Searching for gold is a hazardous occupation at the best of times, and Yazzie is a careless kind of 'prospector'. His greed for shiny yellow blocks may be his undoing and, in fact, he's in something of a pickle. He's happened across a mansion which is filled to the brim with the valuable metal, but it doesn't come without risk: the pile - as is so often the case - is occupied by nasties and traps. Does he venture forth and scoop up the motherload of finds? Naturally, the appeal of being rich beyond his wildest dreams far outweighs the risk to his own life, and he decides to take on the 21 rooms of this zany Downtown Abbey.

The game is a single-screen, ladders-and-levels platformer in which Yazzie must plan his route with care. Since he cannot jump, Yazzie relies on climbing and falling to reach all the gold. He can also collect pickaxes to smash holes in the floor in order to descend to areas that are otherwise inaccessible. But use them wisely or, more often than not, Yazzie finds himself stuck with nowhere else to go, and the level must be restarted.

Not content with punishing our hero with taxing, mind-boggling puzzle-ridden levels, there's a host of meanies hell-bent on making life even more difficult. Once all the gold bars are collected, it's time to head over to the next room.


All the levels vary greatly, providing new challenges and features as Yazzie progresses through them. There are soft floors which he can elect to fall through, bridges to build and blocks that teleport him directly above. All of these provide unique ways to complete each of the levels, and each successive level builds on what has already been learned previously. Our hero certainly has his work cut out for him.


This is one glorious looking take on Lode Runner, Chuckie Egg and Space Panic. This hybrid of these classic games alongside the puzzle element of route planning makes this an exceptional game. It's fluid, tight and each of the levels are meticulously constructed.

The graphics are more colourful than a packet of skittles and their petite nature ensures that every screen is filled to the brim with challenges. To top this off, the soundtrack is velvet to the ears with the AY chip doing what it does best and creating a mood on top of an already attractive game, I went into Yazzie not expecting it to have as much an impact on me as it did.


I wanted to stay with it until completion and that is the best compliment I can give a game. Lode Runner and Space Panic fans will be absolutely delighted with this.


While Yazzie has many similarities to Lode Runner, it's far from being a copy, full of its own qualities in terms of playability. Yazzie bounces around each level and moves along very smoothly. The game starts as a relatively simple puzzler but, as you progress, it ramps up the difficulty as you have to make decisions that can ultimately leave you stuck in a hole with nowhere to go or being on the wrong end of an enemy.

The enemies are a clever bunch. They are aware of your movements and act on them accordingly, so you need to have your wits about you. The introduction of retractable platforms on some levels and other little extras keep the game challenging. Slick and colourful, Yazzie is a triumph and delight to play and, with a brillilant soundtrack. It ticks all the boxes, making it a pleasure to play.


Control Keys: Q, A, O, P
Joystick: None
Keyboard Play: Spot on
Use of Colour: Nirvana+ Engine - so very colourful
Graphics: Detailed and very polished
Sound: A 128K tune plays on menu screen, simpler tunes on the levels.
Lives: Unlimited.
Screens: 20
General Rating: One of the best modern era games to be released for the Spectrum, and plays like a souped-up old-school game.

Paul Davies

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