Turtles watch out! The latest fearless TV hero to make it to the computer screen is small, yellow, has a green Mohican haircut and a nice line in wise-quacks (groan). It's Edd the Duck, best "friend" of Andi Peters, all-round media personality and star of Childrens BBC, starring in the first licensed game title written by Zeppelin (though the game actually appears on the fun price, Impulze label).
As you'd expect, Edd the Duck, the game, isn't a blood-spatteringly violent exercise in slaughtering aliens,; it's a cutesy Mario Brothers-style platforms game in which the worst that can happen to anyone is that they get a bop on the head with one of Edd's magic snowballs, or an unexpected dip in the lake.
In his quest for TV stardom, Edd has to collect 20 stars hidden all over each of nine levels before he can progress to the next. Each level represents a different episode of his TV series. He starts off at the bottom of the screen, and can leap high into the air and flap left and right. As he ascends the background changes to a winter landscape with snowmen, Christmas trees and puffs of wind, provided by the boffins of the Special Visual Effects department.
The background graphics are very colourful but not very detailed, though things are livened up by some of the moving baddies, which include the grasping hand of Wilson the butler, evil teddy bears, fish wearing sunglasses, flapping umbrellas, and bumble bees.
The trick is to leap around the platforms collecting stars without bumping into these baddies; if you do, you take a tumble right back to the beginning of the level. You have four lives (or 'takes' in filming parlance), and each time you lose one, you spin drunkenly through the air, then sink downwards in flashing-on-and-off mode. If you steer carefully, you can land on a platform as you solidify, saving you the trouble of clambering up all the way from the bottom again.
All Edd has to help him on his journey are his magic snowballs which he can fling at baddies to stop them in their tracks for a few moments, so that he can leap over them without danger. Those of us hoping to find nuclear rocket launchers, armour-piercing grenades or ninja stars on later levels will, I feel sure, disappointed but the pacifists amongst us will be quite happy.
Edd the Duck is a very standard arcade-adventure which will probably keep you entertained for a few hours. But it's generally too derivative - the Beeb have proved many times in the past that they know nothing about computer games (they're still trying to push the BBC B micro, for goodness' sake), and Edd the Duck looks more like the product of a committee meeting than an inspired programming effort. Quack quack indeed.
Price: £9.99 48K
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
I couldn't believe it! That little yellow fiend, Edd The Duck, renowned superstar (eh?), master of mischief, boss of the broom cupboard (ha ha!) has gone and got himself his very own computer game!
Known to some as a Mega-star, Pop-star and all-around cool dude, Edd has landed himself a new action series, roaming the departments of the BBC TV Centre (what a daunting task), armed with a Snowball Shooter and collecting stars which will eventually get him to the top of the broadcasting pile! Sounds a bit easy huh? Not so, 'cause out to get him is the royal skivvy himself, the legendary Brutal Butler of the CBBC broom cupboard, Wilson the Butler (Da Da Da Daah!).
Edd has to make his way through nine episodes, collecting 20 stars from each of the three departments: Weather, Special Effects and Children's TV, avoiding WIlson and his evil cronies, the Arglefrogs (!?! This reminds of the time Garthy was chased around the Scottish highlands by a gang of Argylesocks, but that's another story). However one blast from Edd's snowball shooter is enough to freeze these evil Edd-hunters, but only for a short time.
Edd The Duck is a platform game where the main sprite has to travel upwards and across, jumping up onto ledges and blasting at anything that moves. He also has to face some really bizarre opponents such as umbrellas, fish, teddy bears, owls, as well as the dreaded white-gloved hand of ol' Willie, all out to stop him in his bid for stardom. Don't ask me how these creatures came to be wandering around the BBC studios without someone noticing, but then, who knows what goes on behind the closed doors of the Big Brother Corporation?
The graphics in Edd are colourful and the scrolling is extremely smooth. However, soundwise, Edd The Duck leaves a lot to be desired with a load of squeaks and squelches and very little else. But then that's life as a duck. The backgrounds can be a little confusing too. The first level looks as though it takes place under water instead of in a weather studio, but apart from these minor hiccups this game is thoroughly enjoyable, not too easy, not too difficult, but enough to keep you hanging in there to give Edd a hand instead of letting Wilson give him his!
A surprisingly fun game, addictive and with challenging gameplay; altogether highly playable. Especially recommendable for Children's BBC fans.
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Tony Naqvi
STEVE: Edd The Duck was slated the last time it was reviewed here in SU as a full price release. It just didn't have that special something a game needs to make it worth the money. Now, as a budget release, it is much more accessible to the younger players who will appreciate it most. Loadsa' fun.
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