Playing with spells can be tragic when you're only Slightly Magic. Help guide Slightly through this multi-screen cartoon adventure in his quest to rescue the fair princess from Sunburnt the dragon. Because our hero is not a fully fledged wizard, he needs your help in casting spells. These are dotted around the play area and the spells each need another object to make them work.
Code Masters are the experts at this style of game. Slightly Magic is very similar in idea and appearance to the Dizzy adventures, but what's wrong with that? Whereas the Dizzy games have many tough puzzles, this is much easier and should appeal to a younger audience (Erm, or those young at heart; I loved it! - Ed).
All the screens are packed with colour and plenty of animation and a jolly ditty plays throughout the game on 128K. The 48K version is a little less detailed but the game doesn't lose its charm. The movement of Slightly himself is a little sloppy. He can jump through many of the obstacles and being white there's colour clash whenever he goes near anything.
Slightly Magic is another great cartoon adventure from Code Masters. If, like me, you can't get enough of this type of game, you won't be satisfied until you have a copy.
The thought of yet another Dizzy clone may seem almost as unappealing as the Codies bringing back Cheggars Plays Pop, but it's what they do best (apart from making heaps of cash of course) so I suppose we'll let them off just this once. The best way to explain about this one is for you all to put on your magic thinking caps and imagine, you guessed it, Dizzy. Then, get rid of the egg, and stick a large, well-animated magician blokie, called Slightly (cruel parents) in his place. After that, start solving puzzles to enable yourself to gain magic powers, escape the castle you're stuck in and rescue the Princess who's been kidnapped by the evil, cruel and sunburnt dragon. Again, everything is done Dizzy-style but with the added bonus of spells. These spells are effective once collected and combined with the corresponding object, and are used for a variety of things to allow you to progress further. Indirect clues are given to you during the game which hint towards which spell to use and when. (Incidentally, only 2 objects, or spells and objects, can be carried at once and both have to be used to complete the game.)
I promise not to mention Dizzy again honest guv, but another similarity is how you've got to time it just right on old Jump button to avoid killing you on some deadly object (or in some cases, draining your energy). This is almost always how you lose your lives (of which you have 3) but it adds to the addictiveness and lastability of the whole thing as you're always working out what you did wrong and how to get further next time with every game. The scale of the thing is pretty vast too (I know - I've finished it!). The 0898 helpline is on offer here once again if you get stuck, which provides ample opportunities to 'accidentally' dial the wrong number and listen to something more interesting instead (but not really, kiddies - we'll leave that sort of thing down to the old pervs, and Andy).
Talking of progressing (which we were a minute ago), the Codies certainly seem to have got this flip-screen arcade adventure lark sussed out pretty well. In fact, I'm even going to say that Slightly Magic is better than the Dizzy games, because with the addition of spells (and having to collect them all, plus lots of other objects, in order to complete the game) you've got to think quite a lot more about what to do rather than simply using the correct thing in the correct place. The graphics and presentation are excellent too - full of colour and some nice bits of animation (such as the way you can sink into your cloak to duck) and some absolutely brilliant 128 soundtracks. All in all, Slightly Magic is, well, absolutely 'magic' really.
Colourful and cartoon-like graphics really bring Slightly Magic to life. It's an arcade adventure in the Dizzy mould, with a great array of easy-ish puzzles set in a medieval land with lots of dragons. Rewarding to complete (which won't take too long), it's classic budget game material.
Ever seen Fantasia? That timeless Disney classic. Well, ask anyone their favourite part of the film and 10 to a dollar it'll be the scene where Mickey Mouse, the Sorcerer's apprentice, is left alone for the day and gets right up to his neck in the deep stuff. With Slightly Magic, CodeMasters take you as close to being in that rodent's shoes as you could possibly be, without having to grow big black ears and developing breath that would stop a charging antelope.
Bigwiz the wizard has left his castle in a hurry. He's even forgotten to pack his magic wand and spell book. But worse than that, much worse, he's left them alone with you, his nephew. Being as inquisitive as an income tax inspector in Arthur Scargil's bank account, you decide that the best course of action to take is to try every spell that your uncle had warned you about. It's here that the fun begins. As you journey through the strange corridors and lands you'll be amazed at what you see. Not just at the landscapes but the sheer size and quality of the game that's been squeezed into your Spectrum. Multi-coloured backdrops dowsed with detail, cute sprites of all descriptions, puzzling game play that win have you scratching your noggin for weeks and a main character sprite with a personality that would strip Jonathan Woss down to his Y-fronts. Not content with all this, CodeMasters have even added some speech!
My one bug bear, and you might have noticed already, is that there's just no point to it all. Dodge the ghosts, extinguish the fire breathing dragons, turn yourself into a fish and solve every problem thrown at you for what? Just for the hell of it I suppose and that's fine by me. This game retails at 2.99 and I'd pay three times as much for it! Anyone lend me a tenner?
Label: Code masters
Price: £2.99 Tape
Reviewer: Steve Keen
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