Edd the Duck

by Brian Beuken, Tink
Crash Issue 84, Jan 1991   page(s) 65


Go quackers with the star of stage, screen and broom cupboard, Edd The Duck! Regular follower of Children's BBC (me included) will know all about this little yellow fellow. He rose to stardom along with such personalities as Andy Peters and Simon Parkin on the daily TV spot. The only thing that separated him from these megastars was the fact that he had a hand up his botty!

Edd's task is to travel through different departments of the BBC, collecting 20 stars as he goes to become the ultimate star! He begins in the weather department, then special effects and finally into Children's TV. Contact with Wilson the butler's hand, or any of his cronies, result in the loss of one of Edd's filming takes. When all four takes have been used up filming stops and Edd heads down the stardom dumper.

Luckily for our feathered hero the special effects mob have come up with a snowball shooter for him to use. Firing this at any opponents freezes them for a few seconds, giving Edd just enough time to zoom by.

There is no mistaking that Edd The Duck is a tad similar to Rainbow Islands: cartoon style graphics and the vertically scrolling levels make you shout 'It's the Islands' as soon as it loads up! Thankfully the gameplay's slightly different. Edd jumps from platform to platform collecting the stars and freezing the nasties to get to the top. He can jump through the walls of large blocks to get to stars and if he touches anything deadly he reappears where he left off.

Progressing through the departments of the BBC is great fun as long as you're careful and don't charge about. Precise jumping is needed to collect the 20 stars on each level and mapping as you go is advised - that way you'll know what hazards are coming up.

Edd The Duck is obviously more appealing to younger Speccy players, although it's quite hard. The best thing about reviewing the game was the research: an afternoon watching Children's BBC!

NICK [80%]

Question: what looks like Rainbow Islands and is as fast and colourful. The answer is Edd The Duck! The cool dude mallard from Children's BBC is here in his own game and very good it is too. But then I always have been a sucker for a good platform game. The going is tough but not frustratingly so and with a bit of practice you can get Edd leaping around on the platforms like a gymnast. It s usually monochrome graphics that are highly detailed but his game proves that you can use all the colours of the rainbow and still pack in a lot of detail. Buy Edd The Duck how, you'll be quackers not to.
MARK [85%]

Presentation: 81%
Graphics: 84%
Sound: 79%
Playability: 77%
Addictivity: 83%
Overall: 83%

Summary: A colourful and very playable push for stardom.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 96, Feb 1992   page(s) 59

Zeppelin Games
£3.99 cassette

When you think about it, children's TV, past and present, is full of friendly, smiling presenters sticking their hands up various animals' bottoms. Harry Corbett was probably the first, giving Sooty cause to raise his eyebrows in mute surprise. I bet the little bear was happy when old 'H' popped his clogs. But then his dopey son, Matthew, came along and availed himself of a fluffy posterior.

And then there's Rod Hull and Emu - are you surprised he's such an aggressive bird?! Keith Harris's Orville deserves everything he gets, of course, but Gordon The Gopher's quite a lad. Do you think he's naturally that squeaky? Nope, unassisted by human digits he's a baritone for the local operatic society.

But what of Edd the Duck, Gordon's replacement as CBBC mascot? Well, he may have a sore botty but at least he has the honour of his very own computer game. Striving for megastardom, Edd has to travel through the BBC studios collecting stars.

There are 20 stars in each level, but plenty of nasty creatures out to stop him. Hitting them with snowballs (?!)stuns them for a few seconds, allowing little Edd to waddle past.

When first released on the Speccy (Issue 84), Edd The Duck received a warm welcome from both Nick and myself. Okay, it owes more than a little to Rainbow Islands for inspiration, but that isn't such a bad thing. I'm a sucker for a good platform game, and Edd The Duck fits the bill (ho ho) nicely.

Presentation: 82%
Graphics: 85%
Sound: 80%
Playability: 78%
Addictivity: 85%
Overall: 84%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 62, Feb 1991   page(s) 66

£9.99 cass/£14.99 disk
Reviewer: Linda Barker

Edd the Duck is cool, and it's a fact. Quite why he's so cool is a bit of a mystery though. I mean, it's not as if he ever really does anything (just looks at the camera between the programmes on kid's TV and quacks really). And there's no real precedent for white ducks with green mohicans becoming media stars either - but cool he somehow is. It's something Orville could never quite manage, but then he was burdened with Keith Harris (so doomed from the start really).

But anyway, my little cherry pies, it's not Edd the TV star we're interested in here, but Edd the computer game. So what's it like? Well, as you've probably already guessed from the screenshots, its very, very similar to Rainbow Islands (almost identical in fact). That means that yes, it's a cutie, and yes, it's really rather incredibly playable, but no, it doesn't score any marks at all in the originality stakes. Just my cup of tea, as they say (or it would be if it wasn't such a blatant copy).

So how does it all work? Well, for the few of you who never played Rainbow Islands it's a vertical scroller. You, as Edd (who can't fly by the way) have to make your way up screen, platform by platform, collecting stars and avoiding nasties. There are 20 stars per level and you get ten points for each one - the aim of the game is to get them without being thrown back to earth by the baddies or falling off and drowning in the flood of water at the bottom (despite being a duck, Edd can't seem to swim either). You're not allowed to proceed to the next level until you collect all 20 stars.

And that's it really. Let's have a go shall we? Right, on the first level we're in the BBC weather department, where it's summer (hurrah!). The background is bright blue, the sun has got his shades on and the platforms are little bits of sandy beach with buckets and spades scattered about. Edd comes equipped with a snowball shooter-type weapon (knocked up in the special effects department) which will temporarily freeze particularly bothersome baddies (no bloody death sequences here). But bump into an unfrozen object and little Edd tumbles to earth, turning somersaults as he goes (exactly like Bub and Bob in Rainbow Islands).

Ah, yes, the baddies. These are suitably cutsie, including teddy bears, umbrellas, wide-eyed pouting fish, busy bees and the giant, disembodied hand of Wilson the Butler, Edd's nemesis at the Beeb. There are quite a lot of them too, and pretty tricky to dodge. About half-way in things suddenly make a change for the worse though - the sand seems to disappear and pretty soon it's winter (oh no!). Don't worry though, this is actually the best bit - packed with snowmen and Christmas trees, icicles, the chill west wind and (a touch of the surreal here) more ogling fish. Very pretty, and rather seasonal don't you think?

From the weather department you move on up to the Special Effects bit of the BBC, and the second level. More fish and some funny little flies to freeze, plus the Arglefrogs (strange beings from the Alpha Centauri star system) for some obscure reason. Oh no, I've just realised - it's not that obscure at all (this is the department where they do all those wobbly Doctor Who spaceship shots after all). Now you're just a step away from the big time - Children's BBC and absolute Super-Stardom. And there we have it really. Simple, and not particularly long, but I really enjoyed Edd The Duck.The colours are bright, the graphics are excellent (I lurve those feesh) and it's fun, fun, fun all the way to the top. Once you've mastered Edds hail flying/half jumping technique (he can be a little unsteady on his wings, poor chap) you can start working out the best way around the platforms and how to pick up the more difficult stars. Because yes, despite the fact that it's obviously aimed at the younger Spec-chum, Edd is actually rather hard. It may be a copy of Rainbow Islands but it's a blimmin' good one (not quite as good as the original, but very snazzy nonetheless). I just wish it'd been a bit longer, and a bit more its own game, but that said its a nice little thing, and made me come over all happy and warm inside when I played it. Oh, actually, there is this one other problem - the back of the instructions book, where it reads (and I quote) 'Coming soon... Neighbours'!!


Life Expectancy: 73%
Instant Appeal: 86%
Graphics: 88%
Addictiveness: 82%
Overall: 83%

Summary: Neat and clourful Rainbow Islands clone with a cutsie BBC puppet. Fun, but not all that original.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 72, Dec 1991   page(s) 69


We've got compilations coming out of our ears this month! (And nearly as many reviewers!) So come on baby, let's go!

Reviewer: Jon Pillar

From the duck of the same name comes as slick a clone as I've seen in many a month. Basically it's a beginner's Rainbow Islands which, for those of you who were struck unexpectedly by a bookcase and consequently spent six years living in Leighton Buzzard as a commodities broker named Kim, is a supercute vertically-scrolling platform game. Revolving around the bid for superstardom of Wee Beaky himself, the game has you waddling through three BBC departments (Weather, Special Effects and Children's BBC), filching twenty golden trinkets from each.

Ranged against you are mobs of twee baddies, but luckily you've been armed by the Blue Peter team with a weapon ingeniously constructed from a toilet-roll tube, an old bazooka and lashings of sticky-backed plastic.

Gameplay is unsurprisingly Rainbow Islands-like. There's many a hop, skip and burbling sob cos it's actually rather hard, in a cunningly-designed sort of way. It's the vertical scrolling, y'see - you never quite know if there's going to be a nasty lurking just above.

Still, it's all time-wastingly playable, with brash and colourful graphics (though disappointingly few sound effects).

You may find it a bit short (only three levels, after all) but it's well worth a look. Quack quack quack.

Overall: 80%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 107, Jan 1991   page(s) 26,27

Label: Impulze
Price: £9.99 48K
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Turtles watch out! The latest fearless TV hero to make it to the computer screen is small, yellow, has a green Mohican haircut and a nice line in wise-quacks (groan). It's Edd the Duck, best "friend" of Andi Peters, all-round media personality and star of Childrens BBC, starring in the first licensed game title written by Zeppelin (though the game actually appears on the fun price, Impulze label).

As you'd expect, Edd the Duck, the game, isn't a blood-spatteringly violent exercise in slaughtering aliens,; it's a cutesy Mario Brothers-style platforms game in which the worst that can happen to anyone is that they get a bop on the head with one of Edd's magic snowballs, or an unexpected dip in the lake.

In his quest for TV stardom, Edd has to collect 20 stars hidden all over each of nine levels before he can progress to the next. Each level represents a different episode of his TV series. He starts off at the bottom of the screen, and can leap high into the air and flap left and right. As he ascends the background changes to a winter landscape with snowmen, Christmas trees and puffs of wind, provided by the boffins of the Special Visual Effects department.

The background graphics are very colourful but not very detailed, though things are livened up by some of the moving baddies, which include the grasping hand of Wilson the butler, evil teddy bears, fish wearing sunglasses, flapping umbrellas, and bumble bees.

The trick is to leap around the platforms collecting stars without bumping into these baddies; if you do, you take a tumble right back to the beginning of the level. You have four lives (or 'takes' in filming parlance), and each time you lose one, you spin drunkenly through the air, then sink downwards in flashing-on-and-off mode. If you steer carefully, you can land on a platform as you solidify, saving you the trouble of clambering up all the way from the bottom again.

All Edd has to help him on his journey are his magic snowballs which he can fling at baddies to stop them in their tracks for a few moments, so that he can leap over them without danger. Those of us hoping to find nuclear rocket launchers, armour-piercing grenades or ninja stars on later levels will, I feel sure, disappointed but the pacifists amongst us will be quite happy.

Edd the Duck is a very standard arcade-adventure which will probably keep you entertained for a few hours. But it's generally too derivative - the Beeb have proved many times in the past that they know nothing about computer games (they're still trying to push the BBC B micro, for goodness' sake), and Edd the Duck looks more like the product of a committee meeting than an inspired programming effort. Quack quack indeed.

Graphics: 76%
Sound: 60%
Playability: 72%
Lastability: 69%
Overall: 72%

Summary: He's cute, he's cuddly he's bound in BBC tape and will appeal only to true Ed fans.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 124, Jun 1992   page(s) 42

Label: Zeppelin
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Tony Naqvi

I couldn't believe it! That little yellow fiend, Edd The Duck, renowned superstar (eh?), master of mischief, boss of the broom cupboard (ha ha!) has gone and got himself his very own computer game!

Known to some as a Mega-star, Pop-star and all-around cool dude, Edd has landed himself a new action series, roaming the departments of the BBC TV Centre (what a daunting task), armed with a Snowball Shooter and collecting stars which will eventually get him to the top of the broadcasting pile! Sounds a bit easy huh? Not so, 'cause out to get him is the royal skivvy himself, the legendary Brutal Butler of the CBBC broom cupboard, Wilson the Butler (Da Da Da Daah!).

Edd has to make his way through nine episodes, collecting 20 stars from each of the three departments: Weather, Special Effects and Children's TV, avoiding WIlson and his evil cronies, the Arglefrogs (!?! This reminds of the time Garthy was chased around the Scottish highlands by a gang of Argylesocks, but that's another story). However one blast from Edd's snowball shooter is enough to freeze these evil Edd-hunters, but only for a short time.

Edd The Duck is a platform game where the main sprite has to travel upwards and across, jumping up onto ledges and blasting at anything that moves. He also has to face some really bizarre opponents such as umbrellas, fish, teddy bears, owls, as well as the dreaded white-gloved hand of ol' Willie, all out to stop him in his bid for stardom. Don't ask me how these creatures came to be wandering around the BBC studios without someone noticing, but then, who knows what goes on behind the closed doors of the Big Brother Corporation?

The graphics in Edd are colourful and the scrolling is extremely smooth. However, soundwise, Edd The Duck leaves a lot to be desired with a load of squeaks and squelches and very little else. But then that's life as a duck. The backgrounds can be a little confusing too. The first level looks as though it takes place under water instead of in a weather studio, but apart from these minor hiccups this game is thoroughly enjoyable, not too easy, not too difficult, but enough to keep you hanging in there to give Edd a hand instead of letting Wilson give him his!

A surprisingly fun game, addictive and with challenging gameplay; altogether highly playable. Especially recommendable for Children's BBC fans.

Edd The Duck was slated the last time it was reviewed here in SU as a full price release. It just didn't have that special something a game needs to make it worth the money. Now, as a budget release, it is much more accessible to the younger players who will appreciate it most. Loadsa' fun.

Graphics: 79%
Sound: 41%
Playability: 79%
Lastability: 80%
Overall: 79%

Summary: Edd The Duck is splendid vertically scrolling platform game, very Rainbow Islandish with lots of hopping, skipping and jumping around the screen. With only 3 levels, it is rather short but is well worth a look for fans of children's BBC characters!

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 111, Feb 1991   page(s) 50

Spectrum/C64 £9.99, Amiga £24.99

Edd the Duck. Superstar, pop singer, next week's Sunday dinner. What a hero! This new game chronicles Edd's attempts at producing his latest TV extravaganza, set across nine episodes in three different highly exotic BBC TV departments (Weather, Special Effects and Children's TV). Edd's idea of entertainment is to run about a vertically scrolling platform area collecting stars (exciting or what?). When 20 have been collected the episode ends, and Edd moves on to the next, where he does much the same thing.

Unfortunately, everything isn't well. Edd's arch-nemesis, Wilson the Butler (he of the white glove) has despatched evil cronies to run around the set and bump Edd off. Nasty eh? That being the case, Edd has decided to pack his mega Snowball Shooter to temporarily freeze any of Wilson's henchmen that get in the way.

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Overall: 29%

Summary: Urrghh! Jerky scrolling, appalling colour clash and awful playability make Edd the Duck about as inviting as a punch in the family jewels. Avoid.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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