Cool as croc? It's...

Cool Croc Twins logo

EMPIRE * £25.99 * 1/2 meg * Joystick * Out now

Whoop whoop, cutesy game alert, warning warning! The Cool Croc Twins are here. Punk Croc and Funk Croc are twins and damn cool twins at that, hence the wild and wacky title.
The only notable difference between Punk and Funk is that one of the green-skinned dudes wears a pair of shades while the other wears a baseball cap back to front.

Now as it happens, as it happens boys and girls, Daisy Crocette is madly in love with them both. Why on earth doesn't she just have a three-in-a-bed-kinky... (that's quite enough, Biff - Ed).
Daisy being a dopey croc bimbo decides to forsake her love for the twins and runs off to a Crockery. Why she would want to leave those boys and join a load of cups and plates, I don't know. Oh all right, it's not a load of plates, it's sort of a convent for crocs.

Now if your girlfriend-to-be decided to bugger off and become a nun, you wouldn't be the happiest little croc in the world. So it's time for a fight back. Punk and Funk must battle through 60 screens to win back the lovely Daisy.

The Cool Croc Twins is a straightforward platform game, but it's very difficult to explain what it actually looks like, so if you care to gander at this page you will see what can only be described as screenshots.
The idea is simple - all you have to do is guide either Puk or Funk around the screen. By pressing Fire on the joystick you must make them jump into some little blocks which are liberally dotted around.

A light will illuminate each time you hit a block. You have to hit each block three times, so that the three lights, err light up. Light up all the blocks and you will progress to the next level. Easy, ain't it?

Now all games with good guys in them have to have bad guys too - it's the law of computer games. The battle of good against evil is what computer games are all about. There are loads of mischievous beasties, trying to stop you from reaching the croc goddess Daisy. They do this by turning the lights on the blocks off again. If one of these monsters hit you, you will lose one of your previous three lives.

Don't worry though - help is at hand. If you land on top of, or hit, a beastie in mid-air, it will disappear. You will receive bonuses when you kill one of these beasties, but don't hang around because another will be around to fill its place.

The poster/manual included with the game - to be honest - tells you precious little. It's got Punk and Funk in conversation telling you what to do, but unfortunately because it's a supposedly cool game it's got supposedly cool 'speak' in it.

Phrases like "tyell it lie it is, bro" litter the instructions. Besides, it's probably better not to read the instructions, and to work it out for yourself instead.

Overall, The Cool Croc Twins is not bad. The graphics are fairly good, but nothing really special. Soundwise there are a few funksome tunes to be heard and a few effects. It is very playable, being more fun in two-player mode than in one. I liked Cool Croc Twins, but there's something about it that doesn't make it a hit game.

I can't really put my finger on what it is, but I think it's something to do with the actual format. After a while it all gets a bit too similar. Never mind, not every game gets or deserves a Gamer Gold and guess what? This is one of those games.



Cool Croc Twins logo

Meet Punk and Funk: by far the coolest crocs around. Suitors of sexy crocette-babe, Daisy, they're the weirdest comic duo to hit your machine since Bub and Bob. These strange and very pretentious little critters star in the new cutesy puzzle game, Cool Croc Twins. It' s the age- old tale which inspired many coin-ops: complete the game to get the girl, bash a few nasties on the way, find the odd little secret bonus and so on.

However, here we have something that's just a little unusual.

For instance, you have to headbutt level indicators in order to complete each screen (you know, those little spectrum analyser lights which jump up and down on your stereo?)! A series of walls and blocks provide your route to these lights along with one of two movement control methods. These allow your crocodile to move in either clockwise or anticlockwise directions around obstacles or, with the conventional movements (left, right, up and down).

The former method is hard to appreciate until you need to make a swift get away up a vertical wall! You begin each screen stuck to the ceiling, but that doesn' t matter since gravity has no meaning in this game. You can leap up, down or sideways in complete safety and run around clinging to walls or the undersides of platforms.

Head-banging handbags
Screen guardians can move in the same way, so it's often very easy to forget that creatures lurking beneath platforms can simply walk up and over edges to appear directly in front of you (not nice). Nevertheless, Cool Croc Twins plays excellently; it is incredibly easy to get in to.

A screen is completed once you have smashed your crocodile's head against each of the scene's level indicators three times. With each Glasgow kiss, another bar of the indicator is illuminated until eventually the whole analyser bursts into life at once to a triumphant piece of music. When two of you play head-to-head, each of the indicators has six sections instead of three, and Punk and Funk must race to light all of their halves first.

You might think that headbutting hi-fi equipment is easy, but for Punk and Funk it's made incredibly difficult by some very annoying creatures who follow them around, putting their lights out! Fortunately, these guys can be sent to meet their maker if you nut them one in the face (it's all a bit of fun really, honest!).

Shiny, happy reptiles. From the moment you boot up, things are instantly attractive. A cute intro leads up to the main options screen (groovy tunes play in abundance at this point) where you can either decide to play by yourself or with a friend in simultaneous two-player mode. Then, after the first game, you're hooked!

What's up Croc?
Cool Croc Twins has been very well presented (you even get a free T-shirt in the box!), and fortunately has been very well written as well. A level return-code facility (which lets you skip all the bits you've done before) and the simultaneous two-player head-to-head make it a game which won't just get put down. Eventually it will lose its appeal because lack of variety or different screens.

An in-built screen designer would have made it a brilliant package but as it stands, Cool Croc Twins is still very, very good.


Cool Croc Twins logo

Die Kroko-Brüder Punk and Funk haben zur Zeit mehr gemeinsam, als ihnen lieb ist: sie sind beide in die Reptilien-Dame Daisy Crocette verliebt! Die Schöne kann oder will sich aber nicht festlegen und verreist kurzerhand in den 60 Level...

Da kuckt das coolste Duo seit Erfindung der Kuhlrühe natürlich erstmal etwas pikiert, aber dann fassen sich die knubbeligen Kerle ein Herz und begeben sich auf die Suche nach ein bis zwei Spielern, die ihnen aus der Klemme helfen können.

Wer sich für die edle Mission meldet, bekommt zehn verschiedene, allesamt recht farbenfrohe Hintergrundgrafiken mit passendem Begleitsound serviert.

Interessant ist aber zunächst einmal der Bildrand, auf dem der oder die Helden entlanglaufen können. Auch die Kunst des Springens ist ihnen nicht fremd, aber das geht nur in einer geraden Linie und solange, wie kein Hindernis auftaucht.

Diese bestehen entweder aus (rundum begehbaren) Platformen, kleinen Gemeinheiten wie zeitverschlingenden Eis- und Felsbrocken oder dreilagigen Steinen, die sich durch mehrfaches Anrempeln umfarben lassen.

Und genau darum geht es bei der originellen Hüpferei: Sind alle Steine umgefarbt, ist auch der jeweilige Level gelost.

Damit's nicht zu simpel wird, gibt es ein Zeitlimit und putzig animierte Mönsterchen, von denen man sich im Interesse seiner drei Bildschirmleben tunlichst nicht berühren lassen sollte.

Wer die kleinen Biester (deren Hobby das Entfarben bereits gefarbter Steine ist...) dagen durch einen gezielten Kopfsprung plattet, verdient sich damit oft einen hübschen Bonus.

Soweit, so cool - zwei alternative (Stick-) Steuerungsmodi, Levelcodes und ein cooles T-shirt in der Packung treiben die ganze Coolness schließlich bis zum Gefrierpunkt! (rf)



Cool Croc Twins logo

The Cool Croc Twins, eh? No, they're not the latest rave duo to emerge from the streets of Brooklyn. Punk and Funk, who certainly look green enough to have emerged from a sewer, have made it onto the Amiga in a mad, headbanging, arcade extravaganza marking the debut of Arcade Masters, Empire's new original-arcade-games label.

The background to the game concerns three crocodiles. A babe called Daisy Crocette has fallen for both Funk and Punk. Unable to commit herself to either, she seems to have given up altogether and run off to the local Crockery - I guess that's some sort of feminist refuge for mixed-up crocodile babes. Anyway, it's now up to Funk and Punk to battle over 60 screens to win her back.

My first impression was 'What the hell's going on?'. Controlling one of the crocs is not initially the easiest of tasks - it takes a bit of getting used to. You use the joystick to walk Punk or Funk around the edges of the screen, then fire to bounce him off against the coloured squares which litter each area. The object of the game is to light up all three bulbs in each of the squares by hitting them with your croc's head. The level is not completed until every square has all of its bulbs lit up, and that's what more you're playing against a time limit.

Graphically there's nothing special, but the colours are bright, cheerful and very arcadey. The sound is passable - a non-annoying tune accompanies the game, and standard arcadey noises come into effect when a croc lights up a bulb or gets frazzled by a critter.

Cool Croc Twins can be played in either one or two player mode. In the two player mode, each croc must light up three bulbs on every square. You and pal race Funk and Punk against each other, each trying to light up every square and finish the level first.

Sounds simple you might think. Well that's where you're wrong. In front of some squares are small platforms. You land on these when you bounce off the sides. Funk and Punk must walk round each platform, to bounce off and light up the hidden bulbs. Unfortunately, because your croc is upside down at this point, the controls are reversed and it all gets a little disorientating. Even more confusing is landing on either side of the screen - you must push the joystick left or right to walk up or down.

As if that wasn't enough, there's also a bunch of 'critters' out to stop you. They continually turn the lights in the squares back off, and kill you if you touch them (why don't game characters ever want to be your friend?) and as the game progresses there are also objects blocking the bulbs.

These bounce your croc off in a different direction or waste time by spinning him round. Add to that the increased number of enemies as you go through the levels and you've really got your work cut out. I've heard of babes playing hard to get, but this is ridiculous.

And that's it, really. There're no special effects or bonus levels, just sixty levels of more or less the same thing which gets progressively more tiresome as more enemies are sent and more objects block each square.

In terms of controllability it's very awkward, but I suppose you could get used to it if you've got nothing better to do. Playability is limited, but after completing five levels there is a level code available on screen, so at least you don't have to go back and do all the early levels when you play it again.

The choice of one or two player mode is a definite bonus - it offers good short-term fun in two player mode, but comes nowhere near the multi-player frenzied fun of, say, Ubi Soft's Dyna Blaster, and that's where you should look first for simple arcade thrills.



Cool Croc Twins logo

Steve Keen takes a snappy look at Arcade Masters' newest baby.

NEW BREED
Cool Croc Twins is Arcade Masters' first product and features two unlikely heroes in the shape of Funk and Punk, the crocodile brothers. The scaley duo have both fallen for the same girl, the beautiful Crockette Daisy, who can't decide which croc she likes the most, and runs off in her confusion.

The two brothers set off in hot pursuit to proclaim their love and hopefully win her affections. This is not going to be easy, not only is the girl playing hard to get, but she's chosen a rather perilous route to tread. Choosing one of the two you must dodge your way through the sixty platform levels and bring her home.

TRIP THE LIGHT FANTASTIC
Each screen incorporates a series of lights which must be illuminated before you can progress to the next. The chosen Croc must walk around the edges of the screen and tumble across the playfield in order to bump into the blocks and light them up. The task is made harder by the wandering nasties that hound your actions and stick to patrolling the most accessible spots for tumbling onto the lights. There can be up to fifteen of these on screen at once, making it almost impossible to find anywhere safe to tread.

There are six worlds in all, and each has a different theme from jungle forests, complete with pink elephant backdrops to a cattle farming ranch in the deep South.

The sprites that patrol the platforms and walls are suitably adapted to the scenario and, although their basic mission to kill you doesn't alter, their appearance does. Along with these, the added features of ice blocks, doors, brick walls and directional arrows which only allow you to pass through one way makes for some drastic and frustrating gameplay as you career off at different angles trying to dear the screen.

If you're lucky enough to catch a nastie in mid-flight, the blighter will be squished and will throw up a letter. Collecting these will give you an assortment of extra help including freeze game, multiple-lighting capabilities and neutralise special blocks. Splatter all the pests and you'll get a chance to catch the extra life token.

Although the worlds are colourful and sprites smooth and detailed at it's best Cool Croc Twins is a very average game for the just below average gamer. Its saving grace is the simultaneous two-player option where some fine battles can be had racing toward the last light with a friend. It's just a pity.