Sweevo's World

by Greg Follis, Roy Carter, Matthew Rea
Gargoyle Games
Crash Issue 25, Feb 1986   page(s) 28

Producer: Gargoyle Games
Retail Price: £7.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Greg Follis and Roy Carter

Imagine a world full of strange beings and equally strange objects. A world overpopulated with oversized fruit, deadly to the touch. A world shown in full isometric 3D perspective, similar to Ultimate's Knight Lore and Alien 8 - Sweevo's World? Not quite, for only if Sweevo can successfully contend with all the dangers Knutz Folly has to offer, can it possibly be renamed as such.

As you may have gleaned from the two previous previews, Knutz Folly is an artificial planetoid, built by the highly deranged Baron Knutz for his seemingly estranged wife Hazel, before he went totally out of his tree. A number of decidedly strange life forms live in this strange environment, all as weird as their creator. Each group of organisms must be disposed of in a particular way - the Horrible Little Girls, or Minxes, can be mashed by dropping teddies on their heads, for instance. The Minxes and Goose Stepping Dictators are extremely dangerous and quick with it, so should you enter a room containing either, beware!

Widgers and Geese on the other hand, are harmless, but expendable all the same. Brownies sit quietly about the planet and can be collected for extra 'Brownie' points. Further marks are also awarded for tidiness at the end of the game.

Sweevo has five lives and one is lost every time he tires. Such a state arises whenever he is poked from behind (literally) or knocked over four times from running into a static object such as a skull or piece of fruit. Sweevo's current physical state is shown in the top left of the screen and is represented by a face, looking very much like our very own Graeme Kidd minus cranial fluff. As his energy decreases, the face becomes more and more sorrowful looking, until it turns into a skull, when he finally kicks it. If energy is running a bit low, Sweevo can sneak up behind one of the eight Geese which stump around the playing area. If he gives them a big enough fright, they lay a Golden Erg (ouch!) which is a source of extra energy.

Hidden away in nearly two hundred screens split into four levels is a whole range of puzzles of differing difficulty. Each puzzle, once solved, gives the player useful objects such as tin cans. These are then used to solve further puzzles. However, in order to complete the game, you must also eradicate all life forms... and tidy up after you!


Control keys: Q, W, E, R, T to move 'left', Y, U, I, O, P to move 'up', A, S, D, F, G to move 'down', H, J, K, L, ENTER to move 'right' and bottom row to pick up/drop
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2 and Cursor
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: single colour display to avoid attribute problems
Graphics: exceptionally good, fast 3D isometric display
Sound: excellent title screen music, although it can prove irritating
Skill levels: one
Screens: 184

I'm not a great fan of Gargoyle's previous offerings, such as Tir Na Nog and Dun Darach, although I can appreciate why they are so popular. Sweevo's World on the other hand, appeals to me greatly, with its humorous and unusual approach. The puzzles are, on the whole, very logical, but because they are so straightforward it makes them that much harder. Graphically, Sweevo's is stunning, with superbly defined and animated characters, and an impressive overall speed. The sound is also exceptional - the music on the title screen is some of the best I've heard issuing forth from the Spectrum. There's not much more to say about Sweevo's other than it's brilliant and if you don't buy it or try it you won't know what you're missing.

Knight Lore made a big impression, mainly I felt because of the revolutionary 3D graphics. Gargoyle's latest offering is very derivative graphically - but the game content is very different... Sweevo's World is the logical progression from Knight Lore with even better piccies, a very interesting inlay, nice sound and, of course the GAME! There's not much I can say about the graphic style: except I've not seen anything quite like these characters before! Sweevo's is certainly something special. Don't get the idea that it's as serious as previous Gargoyle releases; it's basically a nice bit of fun even if, like me, you don't feel up to solving any problems.

Up until now most of Gargoyle's products have been arcade adventures which can be very daunting to us lesser mortals, but with the advent of Sweevo's World all that has changed. If you can remember, way back in the mists of time (about a year ago in fact), Ultimate came out with two graphically stunning games, Knight Lore and Alien 8. Gargoyle have improved on that almost perfect formula and brought us a graphically superb game which is immense fun to play. The speed at which the game operates is breathtaking, and leaves Fairlight standing still, literally. If all these arcade adventures have been plaguing you recently and you're in the mood for a bit of honest fun, then I doubt you could find a better alternative than Sweevo's World.

Use of Computer: 90%
Graphics: 95%
Playability: 96%
Getting Started: 94%
Addictive Qualities: 95%
Value For Money: 95%
Overall: 95%

Summary: General Rating: A novel and humorous approach to the Ultimate style of game.

Award: Crash Smash

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 56, Sep 1988   page(s) 88


Practically every software shop now sports row upon row of irresistibly shiny, incredibly tempting re-releases. If this array of gorgeous goodies leaves you breathless and confused (even £1.99 is a waste if it's spent on something truly bad), never fear. With years of experience on their side, a metaphorical teacup soothingly poised and plenty of calming advice, MARK CASWELL and KATI HAMZA are about to cool your troubled brow. Pause before you squander all your silver pennies. Collapse into a comfortable chair and peruse our guide to a few of the better re-releases...

Sweevo's World
Producer: Rebound
Price: £1.99
Original Rating: 95%

When it was first released by Gargoyle Games back in 1986, Sweevo's World brought a refreshing gust of humour to isometric 3-D perspective. Stuck on Knutz Folly, an artificial planetoid built by the eccentric Baron Knutz for his wife Hazel (how sweet), Sweevo, a robotoid Stan Laurel, has to brave its oversized fruit plantations, attempt to crush Horrible Little Girls with teddy bears, brave Minxes and avoid Goose Stepping Dictators, all in an attempt to make the world his own. Various puzzles of differing difficulty are scattered over four levels; once solved, these yield an object useful for solving further problems. Eradicate all life forms and Knutz Folly, in all its glory, is yours to enjoy forever.

The speed and puzzleability which made Sweevo's vegetarian quest so attractive in its day don't seem as remarkable now. In a comparison with, say, Ocean's sophisticated Head Over Heels or even Firebird's unexceptional Magnetron, Sweevo's World doesn't look so hot. Still if you're addicted to 3-D adventures and you didn't catch this courageously corny little figure when he first appeared, you may as well give him a cheapy chance.

Overall: 66%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 3, Mar 1986   page(s) 23

Gargoyle Games

Sweevo is a robot. Sweevo is to robotics what Castle Rathbone is to peace, calm and order. Sweevo is a walking disaster. Sweevo makes me laugh.

I don't know quite how they've done it but Gargoyle, better known for celtic bovver boy Cuchulainn and outer space saviour Commander John Marsh, have suddenly demonstrated that not only do they know what to do with an Ultimate-style 3D adventure - they can also do it with great good humour.

Certainly Sweevo himself helps. He's the runt of an E.T. litter, possessed of the wide eyed innocence that made Stan Laurel so hilarious. Then there's the nature of his world, littered as it is with cans, teddy bears and ton weights on fragile supports. And its inhabitants number goose stepping dictators, not to be confused with geese themselves or horrible little girls. But even if fools rush in where angels fear to tread, Sweevo has to hold back because the floors sprout strange Noddy characters and fingers which are likely to kill the idiot android in a most undignified fashion. And that's not to mention the fruit!

The gameplay adds to the charm though. The puzzles aren't always too difficult, though some are fiendish, but solving them calls for delightful applications of lateral thinking. And if this wasn't all good enough there's the attention to detail, those little touches that make even losing your final life and getting not the message 'Dead' but 'Deader', bearable. The game is ludicrously playable - over four interconnected levels that should take an age to map - and highly enjoyable. It also boasts the silliest scoring system going, with percentages, Brownie points, and bonuses.

Get Sweevo - it proves that even a Gargoyle can smile!

Graphics: 9/10
Playability: 9/10
Value For Money: 10/10
Addictiveness: 10/10
Overall: 9/10

Award: Your Sinclair Hot Shot

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 47, Feb 1986   page(s) 72,73

Publisher: Gargoyle
Programmers: Follis/Carter
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, Cursor

When Gargoyle steps down from its soft opera sagas such as Dun Darach or Marsport and indulges in a little light relief, the result is Sweevo's World - the last word in Ultimate lookalikes, and full of little jokes aimed at those heavy arcade-adventures Knight Lore and Alien 8.

SWEEVO stands for Self-Willed Extreme Environment Volitional Organism or some such nonsense. In fact, he's a very stupid robot sent out to clean up other people's messes. He has a short tubby body, an overlong neck, and is supposed to look a bit like Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame.

When you load up, you get a choice of four entry points, called Really Free, Lonesome Pine, Fingers and Apple Pie. Those mirror the standard Ultimate system of having four entry points to the game but in this case you get to choose - which makes mapping a lot easier. The names also alert you to the sort of humour you're likely to find. Lonesome Pine catapults you into a room with a single giant pineapple, while Really Free has three cotton reels in it. Real - reel, three - free, geddit? Oh, never mind.

The fruit motif - borrowed from some intergalactic fruit machine, with cherries and apples as well - is very strong. All fruit is deadly, and thus provides most of the main obstacles. You have to progress through the network of rooms dropping tins in strategic places to hem in baddies or give you access to other, more useful objects.

As you might have already guessed, there are four separate levels to the game. Those are interconnected with pads, which flip Sweevo upwards, and holes, down which he drops, gracefully opening an umbrella to parachute onto the floor below.

Those ups and downs give the game much of its strategic play, because many of the puzzles are quite insoluble until you discover that there's a hole on the floor above which drops you on the other side of some impassable barrier. That is lots of fun to watch and also gives you the feeling that there's plenty of things to do if you can't solve a particular set of problems. I suspect, however, that a full solution to the game requires you to organise your movements rather more precisely.

After wandering about admiring the fruit I started to get into the problems. In typical Ultimate fashion, programmers Greg Follis and Royston Carter have avoided telling you too much about what you're supposed to do. "Scoring is very complex and largely irrelevant," they say on the cassette insert, which just about sums up those silly percentages and points you get on Underwurlde which have very little to do with beating the game. In Sweevo's World you get marks for tidiness, a percentage, and also marks for Wijus wasted, Tyrants trounced, Minxes mashed and Geese ghosted. Also you can win Brownie points by, naturally, disposing of Brownies who sit in inaccessible places and brood, head in hands, completely motionless.

The WIJU is a Waste Ingestion and Janitor Unit - a disc-topped robot - which is your main target, but what will destroy it? The tyrant has a moustache and struts around with one hand waving in the air. No prizes for guessing who it represents - Sinclair User's own beloved publisher, I reckon. Then there's the horrible little girl, like a deranged Barbie doll, and the Goose which laid the Golden Erg. The Goose is the harmless one, and a source of energy if you can say "Boo" to it. Collect the Boos...

Other objects include teddy-bears and the famous Knight Lore boot. You'll have to work out which monsters the various objects deal with, and how to use them effectively. What you cannot do is push the objects around, Ultimate-style. But the problems are nevertheless very complicated when you take them as a series, although I found at least half-a-dozen immediately soluble ones when taken on their own. It's getting them in the right order and not wasting all your tins too soon which is important - some of the tins will be lost, and if you use them up in those places first then you're going to run out later on.

The graphics, in brutal comparison with Ultimate, stand up to the test very well. Although you cannot push things around, there are extras to compensate, such as the teleporting between floors and lifts which emerge from the floor to give you a leg up to some higher set of blocks. While there's less animation than in the Ultimate games, what there is is faster and smoother.

There are also plenty of surprises which I find much more entertaining than some of the awful puns Roy and Greg insist on stuffing into their games. Typically, things like lifts and teleports get hidden behind fruit or building blocks, so you can't see them until you step on them.

The most gruesome of all the motifs is the finger which pokes up through the floor in a whole number of rooms, turning apparently straightforward puzzles into difficult mazes. Then there are static guards which pop up and block off entrances or routes - those only disappear when you leave the room, which is then reset.

Gargoyle is calling this a special edition, and selling it at £2 less than the mainstream Gargoyle products. That's a bit of cheek as well, because it makes Sweevo's World £2 cheaper than the top-of-the-range Ultimate stuff.

What's the verdict then? While Gargoyle has not tried to emulate the full animation of the Ultimate games, with the movable blocks and variety of monsters, it has produced a much, much funnier game with quicker movement and a what-the-heck feel about it, which really does succeed in poking fun at the sometimes pretentious Ultimate sagas. Buy it and enjoy it and try not to take it all too seriously.

Overall: 5/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Issue 9, Jun 1988   page(s) 85

Spectrum, £1.99cs
Amstrad, £1.99cs

Billed as a cross between ET and Stan Laurel, the cutesy Sweevo was popular enough first time round to merit the sub-aqua sequel Hydroiool. The gametasks are broadly the same in both, involving the collection of useful objects and handy weapons to use in ridiculous tasks. The authors' bizarre sense of humour will have you saying boo to a goose, killing jellyfish with spoons and running up brownie points by - well, by collecting brownies. Graphically very strong stuff, but the lack of a jump facility can make both games rather flat to play. Also of interest is Sweevo's Whirled, a larger version of Sweevo's World running only on 128K Spectrums.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 52, Feb 1986   page(s) 14

MACHINE: Spectrum/Amstrad
SUPPLIER: Gargoyle Games
PRICE: £7.95

Could this be the world's first slapstick computer game? Well, maybe. But one thing is for sure. Sweevo is a character who will bring a smile to the face of even the most jaded games player.

Sweevo - or Self Willed Extreme Envionment Vocational Organism - has been given the job of cleaning up a problem planet called Knutz Folly. It's an old planet created by Baron Knutz and his wife Hazel.

The Baron indulged in some odd genetic experiments and the results of this dabbling have now completely overrun the planet. Sweevo's job is simply to tidy up the planet.

He has to discover just how to use the objects he discovers on the planet and what effect they have on the creatures. Each of the deadly guardians of Knutz Folly have a special weakness which our hero has to discover and make use of to get rid of them?

Sweevo looks most unlike a robot or android. He looks a bit like William Wobbler - with a long neck and a winning grin.

The rooms he has to explore are full of deadly fruit. Yes, fruit. Don't walk into them or you'll injure poor old Sweevo. He's allowed three falls before he loses a life. You begin the game with five.

The rooms are drawn in Ultimate 3D style. Each contains objects which may or may not be useful, Some can be collected and used. You'll come across the Word "BOO" in various locations. Collect this and you can say BOO to the Goose which lays the Golden Egg and gives you more energy!

Your current energy rating is indicated by a "face" at the top of the screen which begins with a big grin which gradually turns to a grimace as you lose energy by bumping into things. One bump to many and it turns into a skull.

Watch out for the air vents which blast you back to another level. But some times they can come in useful if you've done what you came to do.

You can begin the game at any one of four starting points. Simply select which one you want at the start of each game. Sweevo sits and waits until you've made your choice and then heads for a hole and parachutes through using his trusty umbrella.

At the end of each game you get a percentage rating - plus a list of the things you have or haven't collected/done and a comment about the level of your performance.

Sweevo's World is a truly different and atmospheric game. And it has built in humour. Lots of nice touches that will keep you and Sweevo on your toes for hours.

Lots of baffling puzzles and amusing jokes.

Could we be witnessing the birth of a cult character here? Only time will tell. But in the meantime do yourself a favour by grabbing a copy of Sweevo's World as soon as you see one. You won't regret it. We guarantee it.

Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 7/10
Value: 9/10
Playability: 9/10

Award: C+VG Game of the Month

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue 3, Mar 1986   page(s) 48

Spectrum & Amstrad
Arcade Adventure

It seems only yesterday that Ultimate suddenly sprang on an unsuspecting world Knightlore, and the term Isomarphic adventure was born.

Since then, there have been legions of Knightlore clones, including Ultimate's own Alien 8, which was probably the best of the bunch. It combined beautiful graphics, humour and fiendish problems.

Since then, the Ashby brigade have gone off the boil with their later efforts. So in step Gargoyle. Previously, known for their various Monty Mole games, Gargoyle has obviously decided to get into the isomorphic act. The result is Sweevo which brings humour back into the genre. The whole slant of this game is light hearted. The idea appears to be to have a good time rather than worry about any of life's pressing problems.

Theoretically, you are trying to rid a maze of all the various nasties which inhabit it; but, well, live and let live 1 always say. Anyway, you've got enough problems just getting around the maze. Oh yes, mind the fruit.

Often this sort of humour manages to fall flat on its face after the first few games, but this is a genuinely humorous game with a good sound track and nicely drawn graphics which put even Ultimate to shame.

Graphics: 5/5
Sound: 3/5
Playability: 3/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue 23, Feb 1986   page(s) 39

Gargoyle Games

This is the first computer game that's actually made me laugh out loud! Unlike Gargoyle's earlier games that have been quite serious and mentally taxing, Sweevo's World is an enjoyable, tongue-in-cheek romp through the sort of territory originally explored by Ultimate in Knight Lore and Alien 8.

Sweevo is a Self Willed Extreme Environment Vocational Organism, designed to go out into the galaxy and clean up inhospitable planets. The trouble is that, as Self Willed Extreme Environment Organisms go, poor Sweevo is a bit of a failure, he's failed all the tests that the Sweevo machines are meant to undergo (he failed to turn up for the memory test, as he forgot all about it), but his Robo Master has decided to give him one more chance to redeem himself.

The artificial planetoid, Knutz Folly, created by one mad Baron Knutz and his wife Hazel is populated by all sorts of genetic experiments created by the Baron, and it is Sweevo's task to boldly go where no Sweevo has gone has gone before and clean out the place.

Graphically speaking Knutz Folly bears a strong resemblance to the Starship in Alien 8. The view is the same sort of overhead perspective as in the Ultimate games, and Sweevo, who is an ungainly, but endearing looking character moves around the rooms. Keyboard control of Sweevo is actually better than the control system used by Ultimate, though. Instead of rotating and moving in the direction that he is facing, Sweevo simply moves in of four directions by using the appropriate keys, and I found this system much easier than that of Alien 8/Knightlore.

The rooms of Knutz Folly contain the sort of obstacles, block and traps that have become familiar to games players, but instead of being able to jump over these obstacles Sweevo must locate elevator pads in the rooms which will lift him up. But it's not always obvious how he can use these pads to get around obstacles and Sweevo has to collect objects, such as tins and boots which will come in handy.

Some of the traps that are in his way are very novel. There are great fingers that come thrusting up out of the ground. Incan statues that do the same, and pixie-like creatures that look cute but are absolutely deadly. All these things are large and finely detailed, and very well animated - especially the fingers that have a sort of surreal quality (well, when was the last time that you saw a six foot finger pop up out of nowhere?).

All the screens are drawn in just two colours, in order to avoid attribute clashes, but the overall quality of the graphics is excellent.

The outstanding feature of Sweevo's World though, is the warped sense of humour it displays. Some of the deadliest objects in the game are bits of fruit, and the way to recharge Sweevo's energy level is to goose a goose (you see, there's this goose running around, the one that lays the Golden Eggs, and if you run up behind it and go 'Boo!' then it will recharge your batteries). Oh, and if you walk into you walk into a room that has a hole in the floor, then drop though that hole at that hole at your peril!

There's much more in Sweevo's World that I could go on about, but the best thing I can say about the game is that I'd rather go back and carry on playing it than sit here and waffle on much longer...

Graphics: 5/5
Addictiveness: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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