Sunday, 26 February 2012
Speccy Capers: Olli & LIssa - The Ghost of Shilmore Castle (ISI/Firebird, 1986)
Sir Humphrey isn't too happy. His beloved castle, Shilmore Castle in the highlands of bonnie Scotland, has been bought an American multi-millionaire, Eugene Portcullis the third (Jnr), who wants to take it back with him to the good ol' US of A. Of course, old Sir Humphrey isn't to chuffed at that, what with being a ghost an all and with the castle being his home, he gets his friends Olli and Lissa to help concoct a potion that will render old Humph invisible and scare old Eugene witless, making him leave the castle alone, so Humphrey can do his ghosting business in peace.
There are 8 screens in total, all increasing in difficulty. There are also many nasties who are out to make Olli's life quite hard, as they've taken a fancy to life in the sun, eating hamburgers and surfing. On each of the levels, there is an ingredient needed to make the potion, with Sir Humphrey waiting patiently by the bubbling cooking pot. You have to avoid the nasties, while making your way to the item needed, pick it up and make your way back, whereupon Lissa will give you a smacker as a reward.
I discovered this game quite by accident. It came as a four pack with I, Ball, Thrust and Back To The Future. And I'm glad I did. It's rock hard, but it's also a hidden gem. Plus, it also suffers from Looks-Nothing-Like-The-Cover syndrome. The character you control looks bugger all like the character on the front cover, but rather a blob, with arms, legs and big eyes, all the ingredients a cartoon adventure needs. The title screen has a rather jaunty tune that plays with little intermissions when the lightning strikes, which creates a neat little effect where the screen flashes. All the characters are cute and cartoony, just like Olli, and the game over sequence gives a few chuckles, where Humphrey gives Olli a few slaps around the head with a broom if he fails in his quest. On the whole, graphically, it's all sickingly cute, but looks great. The game does play very fast, and you're up against a very tight time limit on every level, which gets a bit frantic, but it's still fun.
All in all, it's a great little game that was worth every penny of the £1.99 asking price back in the day, and it's worth a play even today. It provides a challenge, looks great and sounds just as good. Recommended.
Posted by Mike Wilcox