Reviewer: Linda Barker
Unlike quite a lot of little girls I never wanted to be a fairy, I wanted to be a cute pixie with pointy ears and a green tunic. Since those distant days I've acquired the green tunic and years of pulling my ears has given them an almost imperceptible sharpness. When Grell & Falla appeared I thought my time had come, I was about to take on my rightful role as a green midget. But alack and alas, the only pixies here are baddies. I was just going to have to put my prejudices to one side and pretend to be a fairy who can't swim. (Pretty apt, eh Linda? Ed) Okay, okay, so I can't swim but that doesn't make me a fairy. Anyway, upwards and onwards as some groovy chap once said.
Grell's the dwarf, Falla's the fairy and the two of them meet down the local employment agency and decide to go into business together. They are taken on by a sorcerer as gardeners and set to work, ready to slope off in a few hours. But 'tis not to be for this is a magic garden, full of untimorous beasties left by the old owner - a nasty witch. Eek! It's a bit lucky then that there are two of them to sort the mess out, eh? Grell & Falla is not, as you might expect, a two-player game. Instead you move one character at a time and make sure the other one is safe out of harms way. Should Grell or Falla die then a message will appear on screen bidding the other to hurry to the scene of the accident and administer the kiss of life.
There are 50 levels here, so it's a biggie. (Oo-er! Ed) Oh, per-lease! You're assigned a different task on each level, you have to plant bulbs and turn the nasties into honest, hardworking creatures who will help the garden grow. You can also buy useful implements and the like at the garden centre. Coo, eh? The garden itself is a sideways-scrolling, platformy kind of affair. It's one of those places where you can't get lost, however hard you try. Y'see, if you were to cut out this game, you could roll it up into a freestanding circle. But you can't, so let's just pretend I didn't say that.
Grell and Falla have their own, erm, inimitable characteristics that make each of them dead useful to you. Grell can punch baddies 'til their faces are wreathed in docile grins and Falla can run and fly faster than a very fast thing in a hurry. Grell might be a bit dirty, but he's the biz when it comes to digging whereas Falla, being dead girly, doesn't like getting her hands dirty. Instead, she hovers around sprinkling fairy dust on the seeds.
Actually, Falla's a bit too speedy and Grell doesn't exactly crawl along. The two of them kept running on long after I'd stopped pressing the right buttons. (You mean inertia. Ed) Inertia? I thought that was when thing's didn't move at all. (Well you weren't. Ed) Oh, anyway - there's a high inertia factor and it's dead annoying. Y'see, Grell and Falla can't swim and whenever I tried to stop them at the banks of rivers, they refused. Instead of skidding to a halt, they just jumped in and lost vital energy. This didn't help when it came to converting baddies either. Rather than stopping just in front of them and giving them a good punch on the nose, old Grell just ran full-tilt into them. Result? A dead dwarf. Pshaw I Now I know that the easiest way to deal with this situation is to go slower and take things a bit easier, and I tried. I managed to get to grips with it all eventually, but I really had to concentrate on how fast I was waggling. (Which meant that I couldn't wallow in the cuteness of it all.)
CUTIE, OR WHAT?
Cutie, definitley cutie - there's no 'or what' about it matey. Grell & Falla is full of my favourite things, there are piles of flowers, handfuls of fairy dust, starburst spells, butterflies and ladybirds. What's more it's a complete riot of colour. The programmers really have gone to town on this one - the skies are blue, the grass is green, the rabbits (sorry - wabbits) are fluffy and the bees are buzzy. If it wasn't for that darn inertia this would be one fluffy-wuffy Megagame, as it is it just misses by the span of a ladybird's wings.
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