Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Don Priestley
After a while on the dole you strike lucky and get a job at Buckingham Palace as a flunky to the Royal Family. And you must keep your employers - The Queen, Andy and Fergie and Charles and Di - happy with your efforts.
Some of the tasks are peculiar: fetching a toy boat for Andrew's bath, getting Di her wig, giving Fergie freckles. These idiosyncratic jobs can be completed using objects you're carrying from the start of the game, such as matches, or with other items that you find around the royal residence.
If the job isn't done perfectly, you'll incur the footsquelching wrath of a guard who can kill you by touch or with a rifle shot. To escape him, you have to disappear behind a secret panel -which also gives you access to the dungeons beneath the Palace.
When you've completed a task for one of the Royals, they must sign your autograph book.
If you've collected all their signatures within a set time, you should enter the Queen's throne room and complete your final task for Her Majesty. That done, your days as a royal flunky are successfully over and you can retire happily (perhaps to become a character in Stifflip & Co...).
Joysticks: Cursor. Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: typical big, unmanageable Don Priestly characters, well-coloured
Sound: spot FX
Options: playable in five (cinq, cinque, cinque, fiinf) languages; definable keys
I don't like this kind of game much. Popeye was cute and clever, but Don Priestly's following game, Trapdoor, was annoying and hard. Flunky is more of the same, though the humour has increased to a Spitting Image scale. The characters move around slowly with the same old blocky and jerky animation. Flunky is decent as a follow-up, perhaps, but not much fun.
Flunky is a pretty attractive game - interesting, well-presented, with pleasant graphics and reasonable sound, though let down by some unoriginal techniques. The caricatures of the Royal Family are quite funny first time round. But though some of the eponymous servant's problems are quite difficult, there's a limit to its addictiveness. And Don Priestly's masking technique must be nearing the end of its usefulness - but it still game look attractive, much like Priestly's much like work.
Flunky's graphics are quite good, especially the backgrounds, and the flunky sprite moves nicely (despite looking as if he's been to the Roger Moore school of eyebrow-wiggling). And most of the Royal Family is at least recognisable. But the playing screen is small, and there's some nasty colour clash. Overall, Flunky is an average puzzle-solving game.
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