THIS is the story of Quiffy, the wee green Blobbie. Are you sitting comfortably? So there you are, quietly minding your own business, doing what comes naturally to a wee green Blobbie - wandering happily through the underground caverns that are your home, and munching your staple diet of litter left behind by an ancient civilization. Idyllic. For a wee green Blobbie.
Unfortunately, life is never easy, and a whole barrage of nasty, evil, wicked creatures have ben waging war on you and your folk to the point that Quiffy is the last remaining Blobbie in the whole cavernous world. As if all of that is not bad enough, the Taps of Wrath have decided they have been off for too long, and have opened, causing water to cascade through the caverns at an alarming rate, flooding them. Clearly, something has to be done! (Um, know any good 24-hour plumbers?).
Deciding that enough is enough, you begin to eat your way through the 42 levels of litter-strewn caverns hoping to make it to the planet's surface. The nasties block your every move, but fortunately weapons have been left laying around for the taking, and with these you can blast the nasties to bits. In fact, as well as the food and the weapons, quite a lot of other things seem to have been left lying around and they all have some function. There are plungers, which can be temporarily stop the flood, balloons, which will give you a free ride upwards, and parachutes which do exactly the opposite; hearts which increase your energy and score, and even the occasional glass of stout which gives you an extra life. On top of all that some caverns contain switches which, when found, will reveal hidden objects and secret passages.
Access from one level to the next is achieved by teleporter, but Quiffy can only teleport when a set quota of litter has been eaten from each level. On the larger, later levels, there are also inter-level teleporters. Some of the levels also have passwords, which once discovered can be used to start the game at a higher level.
Quiffy moves in a mysterious way. As well as the usual leaps and bounds, Quiffy has super strong leg muscles, which allow huge leaps from under water. Oh yes - and our hero can also scale vertical walls and walk across ceilings, making for some unusual route choices round the levels!
The baddies of the piece come in various shapes and sizes. Some are badder than others. The most frustrating of all is the ghost - you will be forgiven any slight feeling of paranoia when the ghost appears a few seconds after a level starts, and traces your footsteps, moving a little faster than you do. If it catches you up it will be curtains, as your energy drains and one of your three lives slips away. There is nothing more annoying than completing a particularly tricky manoeuvre in a grotto with a tiny entrance only to find your exit blocked by the ghost advancing towards the entrance. Aaargh!
As you progress through the levels the variety of nasties increases. They include Space Hoppers, which can be used to hitch a somewhat bouncy ride; Plonking Donkins, who leap mindlessly around the screen draining your energy if they touch you; Psycho Teddies, who eat anything in their path including the litter you need to get you through the teleporter; the Bulbous Headed Vong, whose litter loutish habits replenish foodstocks; and Vacuous Gombos whose mindless, repetitive pacing around always seems to be near that tasty morsel of food or weapon you want.
Flood is an enjoyable game which just lacks that little extra something to make it a resounding success. It is reasonably compulsive, and the password system helps that just one more go effect. The sound is good, with excellent intro music and some splendid spot effects like realistic gulping sounds and splishing of water. But then the producers have set themselves a difficult task if they want to better the excellent Populous.