Allo Allo logo

Bonjour mes petits! Allow me to don my French maid's costume to tell you about zis new release from Alternative Software.

As you may have already guessed, Allo Allo is a TV-licensed game from the extremely funny BBC hit series. Many an evening I sat in watching this hilarious sitcom, amazed at the comic genius of it all, chortling in merriment as Rene Artois searched around for the Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies by Van Clomp, and the idiotic English Policeman mispronounced his French vocabulary.

And not forgetting Monsieur Alfonse's Dickey Ticket. Ooh pass me a needle a thread, I think my sides have split.

Well the game sticks very closely to this story line and copies the same kind of humour ("Goody, Goody, I must buy it!" I hear you cry) but do not despair yet, mon ami. The game isn't half bad really. Well, sort of.
It's a basic little platform romp but with some nice touches and luckily you have to turn off the dreadful accordion music soundtrack.

Right then, so off you set as Rene (or Michelle of the Resistance in two player mode) to find your Knockwursts with the stolen paintings in. You can be helped along by your friends and associates by throwing the various objects (teapots, vases, even the odd bra or two) that can be found at them. They will then spring into life and help defeat your enemies in some way.

For instance, Edith will start singing which will temporarily deafen the baddies (in the form of German guards) and stop them coming after you. Or Yvette will flash her stocking to distract them (the best part of the game according to some here in the office which doesn't really say much!).

Graphics-wise it's quite good. The house, for example, is well drawn and there is a lot of attention to detail. Even the layout is the same as the set on the television.

The characters are easily recognisable from the series, too. For instance, Rene remains the stumpy, plump geeser complete with dodgy moustache (how he managed to get those saucy waitresses into the stock cupboard I don't know).

There are some good cartoony effects such as characters having birds tweeting around their heads if they have been hit, and the typical cartoony words like "pow" or "zap" appearing above them.

Playability is a tad limited though and in two-player mode it's really strange only being able to see one of the characters at a time. Even though invisible characters cannot be harmed by guards, they can still move about or be inured in a fall, which is a bit silly.

The way the "Game Over" is signalled also becomes intensely annoying. Rene just shrugs his shoulders and goes off to hide in a cupboard. It's really difficult to replenish your life meter, too. It should be done by collecting bottles, but they're impossible to find when you really need them.

The difficulty level of the game is about right but how long this French buffoonery will last is hard to say. The humour becomes rather tedious after a while as does the gameplay. Frustratingly addictive? Nope, just frustrating. Pass me the Stella Artois...

Allo Allo logo

René the randy restaurateur is at it again. Not content with playing Yvette, Madame Edith and the women of the French Resistance off against each other, he has gone chasing after the mysterious Fallen Madonna with the Big boobies.

'Allo 'Allo is a licensed platforming version of the popular BBC TV series and features all the characters associated with the programme. You have to guide the cowardly René around a series of different locations including the café and colonel's chateau - collecting bonuses, stunning baddies and trying to swap all the real Fallen Madonna paintings with the fake ones concealed in knockwurst sausages.

Hugely reminiscent of previous Alternative platformers like Sooty and Sweep, 'Allo 'Allo makes up for its lack of sophistication with plenty of knockabout gags, sack loads of innuendo and some surprisingly slick joystick controls.

René zips around the levels like a hyperactive whirling dervish, collecting bottles of wine to boost his flagging courage and coins to bribe petty officials. However, it is a bit much asking £25 for this and the two-player mode on this game is the biggest joke here.

Allo Allo logo

An interesting feature of this game is that if you find a special secret room before Easter and send your name to Alternative, they will put your name into a prize draw in which five lucky purchasers of the game can win their money back. I will leave you to ponder this latest (undeniably novel) twist on the secret room idea and knuckle down to the tedious business of slogging through this banal game to give you my view of whether it is worth spending any cash on this soggy, limp attempt in the first place.

'Allo 'Allo is the eponymous platform game of the TV series, and before I played it, I thought it was a combination that could actually work. I mean, the TV show is generic light entertainment paandering to the lowest common denominator of public opinion, and so are platform games.

How wrong can you be though? The music that blares out at you from the intro screen is not the theme from the show, which seems to indicate they that they bought the licence of the characters but not the music. Oh dear, and things get worse by the second.

After you have decided if it is to be a one or two player game, and you are asked to insert disk two. Now, seeing as the intro consists of a few credits and a screen showing all the characters, I fail to see why you need to swap disks.

I fail to see why you need to swap disks

Okay, game time, and I have got to admit that all the characters from the show are well represented in the game. And they are all here, from the saucy Yvette to the less than alluring Von Smallhausen and Lieutenant Gruber, and they either help of hinder you, depending on if they into goose stepping or not. Time and effort is gone into getting all the characters just right, and they are by far the best bits of the game.

The worst bit? Well, that is everything else really. The game seems to be based around fairly large square blocks, so the background looks blocky and when it scrolls, it does it one big leap at a time. Not so much scrolling, more like juddering really, and there is a terrible bit whenever you go through doors and it just jump cuts.

The game is based around plot ideas and gags from the TV show. As Rene or Michelle of the resistance, you have got to swap the real picture of the well proportioned Fallen madonna with a fake one. This involves hunting around (giggle) to first find the (smirk) false ones which are hidden in (guffaw) giant sausages. (Fnark).

The two player mode is odd in that you can wander off on your own and then toggle between the characters, BUT YOU ONLY GET ONE LIFE! Unbelievably poor.