I wanna tell you a story. Boy meets girl, girl likes boy; they get on like a house on fire. Enter a mad professor; girl is forcebly removed from boy. Boy gets well needled. Sounds like a rescue attempt's on the cards.
The boy's Flimbo. A cute, clumsy, Americanised chappie who's also the regional superhero. The professor is Fransz Dandruff, inventor of a marvelous rejeuvenation machine which he intends to use on himself. Unfortunately for Flimbo's girlfriend, she's going to become a vital component in this machine, which will drain her youth and give it to Dandruff.
Flimbo can only get into Dandruff's fortress by casting spells to teleport himself there. Naturally there's a catch. The scrolls containing the letters for the spells are in the hands of Dandruff's creatures, and can only be recovered by shooting them.
The first level starts with Flimbo standing outside a shop owned by the wizard, his only ally (although the wizard's only in it for the money and will quite happily help anyone for the right price). A box at the bottom of the screen shows you which creature's holding the first scroll, though he's not on his own. The level one creatures aren't too difficult, a mixture of snails, lizards and big mammals who are only dangerous if they come within range. The scroll carrier is marked by an arrow which floats above him. Shoot him and he'll obligingly drop his parcel. Kill an ordinary creature and it should drop a gold coin that can be spent in the wizards shop. Occasionally they might drop a sand timer which gives you more time to rescue Flimbo's girlfriend, or a heart, which goes towards earning him an extra life.
Once a scroll has been collected it needs to be taken back to the wizard. This is a good time to take a breather and possibly purchase something as well. Bottom of the list is a potion of invulnerability, which turns Flimbo's face green and makes him indestructible for thirty seconds. Extra power gives your weapon twice the range and twice the power it had before. Slightly more pricey is a letter of the spell, for the impatient adventurer. If you're running behind schedule you can quite literally buy some time. Finally, you can buy the whole spell, which will advance you to the next level.
Apart from being seriously cute, this is a game which has everything. The graphics are excellent, the foreground scenery is well-drawn and imaginative working well with the background parallax. Each breed of creature has its own particular habit, from sprinting around unexpectedly to blowing up if you get too close. It's worth turning up the volume as well; the music is fantastic, some of the best I've heard on an arcade game.
Flimbo's is easy to get into and a bugger to get out of. A darned good game that will appeal to everybody.