Vikings - nasty bunch of characters. Lushing about in their dragon-headed ships raping and pillaging - it's all a bit much, really. And what's more, as Nick Roberts finds to his disgust, they all have beards (even the women). But now they've come a cropper, especially Spike, who's in for some Castle Capers!
I always feel sorry for people with beards, they obviously can't afford to buy a razor, the poor souls. Spike is one such person, with his big, bushy affair.
Spike and his facial-haired friends have been shipwrecked on the coast of Transylvania. Being in a drunken stupor, they didn't have a clue what was going on, and before they knew it they were banged up in the dungeons of the local castle.
All of them except our hero, that is! Hurrah! He managed to escape the grips of the local fuzz and is now all alone in a strange country! You have the task of helping Spike rescue his mates from the dungeons of the King's castle.
Spike's gameplay is classic arcade adventure stuff with screen after screen of action. There are characters to interact with, meanies to avoid, switches to switch and plenty of objects, some useful and some red herrings.
The cartoon look of the game is great. The characters have hilarious facial expressions and all the backgrounds are colourful and detailed. My only moan is that Spike appears to be transparent when he walks over a coloured background, and I'm sure he's not supposed to be a ghost.
The control method takes a little getting used to: because each screen is in semi-3D, Spike moves diagonally when you press up or down. Inexperienced players will probably charge him straight into a pursuing ghost, but don't fret, it's easily mastered.
On a difficulty scale, the puzzles in Spike would not rate very high. Most of them are really obvious - the difficulty is in getting to the correct screen to carry out an action. It didn't take too long before I had completed Spike so don't expect it to hold much lastability if you're with Mensa.
So, Spike in Transylvania - it's the perfect beginners arcade adventure! It's got lots of cute graphics and puzzles (that aren't excruciatingly puzzling)! It's got jolly tunes and plenty of fun to be had. And, do you know what? I loved it. Great stuff!
What the heck a big-bearded Scandinavian with cow horns on his bonce is doing in Dracula country I don't know, but Spikey in Transylvania is a very good (if tough) game. Plenty of brain exercise is needed because most of the puzzles don't have terribly simple solutions. Spike and co are monochrome, although the backgrounds are a kaleidoscope of colour. Sound is provided by a very jolly tune that plays throughout the game though it did grate after a while. Spikey in Transylvania is a really, really good arcade adventure but it's just lacking that certain something that prevents it being a Smash.
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