Monday, 7 September 2009

Retro Lookback # 1 - Tarzan Goes Ape - Spectrum

Released by Codemasters in 1991, TGA is a platformer. Well I say platformer in the sense that you jump on them (funnily enough). But, this one is a vertical platformer where by you jump on platforms whilst going up the screen. Which makes it different to yer normal platformer. Which is nice. You play Tarzan who has been turned into an Ape by an evil witchdoctor who has kidnapped your girly (shades of Toki here, but bear with me) and you have to find 7 ingrediants to make the relevent potion to return you to Homosapien form (thats Man to you and me), only to have to do it all over again on the next level. The ingrediants have to be collected in the same order as represented on the status bar at the top of the screen. All the while throwing your coconuts (oo-er!) at the various bad guys like crocodiles, birds and angry villagers.

So, graphics, then. They're up to their usual Codies standard: cartoony, very colourful (maybe too colourful) and very well animated. Tarzan always has a 'oo, blimey'-like expression on his face, which adds to the charm of this game. Only thing is, though, the birds beaks look like knockers...... Oh, yes, the enemies. Once you shoot them and advance up the level, if you come back down, they re-appear. So there's plenty of chances to fall on an enemy and die instantly. Problem is that you'll find yourself falling back down very frequently as the controls are very, very (very) over responsive. Just one little touch to the left sends Tarzan hurtling faster than a cannonball along the rest of the platform, which makes jumping and judgment very difficult indeed until you can master it efficiently.

There are some good spot effects, like when you hit an enemy with a coconut and the bleep when you touch an enemy. There are also some good music which only plays on the main menu, when you complete a level and when you die.

As stated earlier, the only few gripes are with the controls, the fact that the graphics are a bit too rich in colour, which could make your eyes go really funny especially if you spend too much time playing it and that the bad guys respawn, which does make the game difficult if you don't know what to expect.

All in all, its good, but be prepared for some bouts of frustration.


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