IT ISN'T easy being green. We're not talking about buying "No Phosphate" washing powders which never actually contained phosphates anyway. No, we're talking physically green - you know, sort of easy to lose on a football pitch kind of colour.
It wasn't the problem of galloping verdancy that was uppermost in Terry the Green's mind. The evil Baron von Bonsai (Boo Hiss ad nauseum) had stolen Terry's magic crystals and was using them to corrupt the Happy Cloud Fairies. Quite how the Baron was planning to use them was anybody's guess, but it probably involved hanging around street corners with a radio-
"Drat! Those Magic Crystals were for my own personal use!" thought Terry to himself. Without further ado (whatever that may be) he shot off to the Cloud Kingdoms.
On arrival, a sorry sight met his eyes. The Happy Cloud Fairies had mutated into Bad Insect Monsters and Giant Rolling Blackballs. "Those crystals must have been a bad batch. Just as well I didn't use them", thought Terry.
At this point it may be a good idea to explain that, although Terry is a small green bouncy ball, he does a nice line in looking unshaven and disreputable. For a good example of looking unshaven and disreputable, see the Amiga Computing editorial team. I won't spoil it by telling you which is which, though.
There are four maze-like kingdoms which Terry can clean up for starters. Two of them seem to be somewhat difficult. The Unseen Kingdom has an invisible maze, so you don't know where you are going, or even where you should be going. The Arrow Kingdom is covered with arrow tiles, which accelerate you off the edge of the Kingdom.
The best one to start on is the Cloud Kingdom. You have a time limit to collect all your Magic Crystals, and there are a whole load of patrolling enemies to get past. You will have to paint in some of the floor using the Magic Paint Pots to get all the crystals.
You'll also make some interesting discoveries about the floor -some bits disappear as soon as you roll over it. Do I need to tell you that you instantly plummet through the hole that you make? I think not.
The Quartet Kingdom is much more difficult. Not merely do you have contend with disappearing floors and patrolling enemies, but you also have a floor littered with magnets. These stick you down and prevent you from jumping over the nasties. A similar effect can be had in real life by eating an entire suet pud.
Cloud Kingdoms reminds me of both Skweek and Incredible Shrinking Sphere, but isn't exactly like either. The graphics are pretty terrible - not so much YASTP, more YAC64P - which is exactly what it is. On first seeing this game, I really loathed it, but after playing around with it for a while I've discovered it's fun.
It's still inexcusable that two out of the four starter Kingdoms are virtually impossible. Likewise instant death by falling through the floor. Well, not death - you don't lose any time, but you get put back to the start of the Kingdom.
Cloud Kingdoms is a real C64 game; solid and difficult gameplay, average graphics and passable sound. But what I do find strange is that in attempt to stop hacking, the game hangs on reset. Only a power
Cloud Kingdoms is quite neat, actually. Uncomplicated frustration and lots of levels will keep you occupied.