Bangladesh revisited

Flood logo

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.


Flood logo

ELECTRONIC ARTS £24.99 * Joystick

After coming up with the graphically superb Fusion and the highly successful deity simulator Populous, Bullfrog have pushed off in yet another direction by releasing... wait for it... a good old-fashioned platform game!

In Flood, you play a tubby little fellow by the name of Quiffy. He is the last surviving member of the Blobbie race, his comrades have been wiped out by the evil Psycho Teddies and the dread Bulbous-Headed Vong. Life in the caverns is hazardous for a lonely young Blobbie, but it could always be worse... the caverns could get flooded! Ha-ha! This is when the phrase 'famous last words' has a poignant ring...

Cavern religion has long told of 'The Coming of the Taps of Wrath', a fearful time when the old and near-forgotten water demons will begin to fill the caverns with water. It looks like the priests were right - the flooding has begun. This is the last straw for Quiffy, who has decided to get his lil' ol' green butt outta there.

You must fight your way through a series of caverns, battling the dangers of deadly traps and vicious monsters. The exit to each cavern is in the form of a teleporter, which is linked to a 'social conscience' computer. The computer will only allow the portal to open when there is no rubbish lying around, so Quiffy must pick up all the rubbish in the cavern before he can escape.

Occasionally, Quiffy may find a weapon along the way, including dynamite, grenades and a pretty awesome flame-thrower - just right for blitzing those evil trash-scattering Vong!

GRAPHICS AND SOUND

As you would expect from Bullfrog , a lot of care has been put into the game's presentation. The graphics are well drawn and coloured, with a huge dollop of the 'cute' factor that seem to be all the rage at the moment. The sprites have a cartoon-like appearance, but the use of colour and shading gives the characters a solid appearance not usually seen in cutesy games. The sound is equally impressive, featuring a suitably bubbly soundtrack to introduce the game and a whole host of jovial splishing, ticking, clanking and yelping effects to back the action, which polished up the whole appearance with Bullfrog's own special brand of digital Mr Sheen.

LASTING INTEREST

The game begins easily enough, but the going starts getting pretty tough around Level Seven, and there are over 30 more still to do! This should keep platform fans wrenching their joysticks around well into the night for weeks. However, the game does prove to be rather annoying at times - especially on some levels which require a fair amount of luck to complete - which is not really a good thing with games of this type.

JUDGEMENT

Producing such irreverent and jovial game as Flood is quite a brave venture for Bullfrog, but in all fairness they have managed to produce a playable and good looking game. Even with its annoying little quirks, there are few straightforward platform games that can manage to keep leap-and-collect fans playing for as long as Flood will keep them captivated. The cute sprites and jolly sound are well up to the standard we would expect from Bullfrog , but it is doubtful whether the game will have a similar effect on the market to that of Populous. Nevertheless, Flood is one of the best games of its type - it is just that the genre is in some danger of wearing a little thin these days.


Flood logo Amiga Joker Hit

Stell dir vor, du hast "Populous" gemacht und alle erwarten jetzt von dir, dass deine nächsten Spiele (mindestens) genauso gut werden! Bestimmt keine angenehme Situation für ein Softwarehaus...

Der kleine Quiffy hat's nicht leicht: Sein Lebensraum quillt über von Müll; Killer-Teddybären und andere schreckliche Wesen sind hinter ihm her, und zu allem Überfluß steift auch noch der Wasserspiegel in seinem Höhlensystem ständig an. Quiffy kann zwar laugen, klettern, springen und tauchen, aber Kiemen sind ihm halt noch keine gewachsen. Deshalb muß er zum Luft schnappen immer wieder an die Oberfläche, es sei denn, er ist schneller als das Wasser - und als seine Gegner! Die meisten davon kann er mittels Flammenwerfer (Yeah!), Shurikens, Bumerangs, Bomben und Handgranaten erledigen, nur gegen den Geist seiner Tante ist kein Kraut gewachsen.

Zum Finden und Sammeln gibt es auch so einiges - hilfreiche Extras und vor allem viel, viel Müll, den das arme Knuddelvieh schlucken muß (Rülps!). Denn: Wer seine Höhle nicht brav leer geräumt hat, darf auch nicht per Teleporter in den nächsten Level.

Flood ist ein stark actionbetontes "Hüpf- und Tauch"-Spiel, in dessen 42 Leveln (laut Packung nur 36?!) auch einige Kopfnüsse versteckt sind. Der Sound kann voll überzeugen: Super-Stereoeffekte und originelle Musik. Die Grafik wirkt auf Dauer etwas eintönig, die Level sind kaum voneinander zu unterscheiden. Farblich ist aber alles sehr schön, auch mit dem Scrolling kann man leben. Die Steuerung ist gut durchdacht, das Gameplay immer fair - alles in allem ein erstklassiges Spiel mit vielen neuen Ideen. (mm)


Flood logo CU Amiga Screen Star

Electronic Arts, price: £24.99

The Bullfrog programming team, famous for last year's smash-hit Populous, are back in the swim of things with Flood, a 42 level (count 'em!) platform game from EA.

Flood casts the player as Quiffy, a fat green slimy blob who waddles along collecting trash in an underground system of maze-like caves. Unfortunately, his refuse collecting days are numbered as his homeland has been overrun with killer teddies and dynamite-throwing nutters. As if this wasn't bad enough, the caverns are slowly flooding with water, so it's a race against time as Quiffy attempts to escape and reach the surface of his world.

Within each level Quiffy must collect all the trash that's scattered around. However, he must be quick as the water level is constantly rising, making it tricky to retrieve rubbish that's at the bottom of the water. Quiffy isn't a good swimmer and he can only hold his breath for a certain length of time.

Bouncing balls, floating mines, razor blade platforms and gaping lava pits are just some of the obstacles in your way. There are also various nasties lurking about who like nothing better than to beat the living life-force out of you. The marvelously named Bulbous Headed Vong look like something out of the Aliens movie, create stacks more litter for Quiffy to collect and can kill instantly. There's also the Psycho Teddies, who have gnashing jaws inset into their stomachs and leap around eating trash and anything else that gets in their way.

There are various artifacts to help you on your way. Run over a bottle of Guinness and get an extra life; collect the floating hearts of your victims and add points to your score as well as your life force. To help combat the hordes of blob eaters, a whole host of life-threatening hardware is scattered throughout the game, including grenades, ninja stars, and a burn-in-hell flame-thrower that even works underwater!

Once you have collected all the rubbish you can nip through a teleporter to the next level and so on. There are also In-Level teleporters that move you to different parts of the current level where more trash is stashed. Just to make matters even more complicated, there are invisible teleports dotted around which lead to even more tunnels and caves.

Shaun Cooper was in charge of the programming and design of Flood. At only nineteen years of age, he's already an experienced game designer having provided some of the graphics for Populous as well as working on other Bullfrog games.

Flood has a bizarre plot, a wide-eyed and sickeningly-cute hero and some of the silliest looking characters you've ever seen. It's also very addictive and smashing fun. I'm not a fan of platform games, I find most of them immensely annoying, require minimal skill and are poor value for money. Flood, on the other hand, is extremely playable and has a certain charm that's irresistible. Shaun has introduced a number of slick touches throughout the game. Examples of these abound; particular favorites include the flame-thrower that sometimes misfires and ejects a chicken, the space hopper which when punctured spins poor ol' Quiffy in circles, and the kaleidoscope effect of stepping through the teleporters.

The scrolling on the disk, dropped off by armored guard at the CU offices, was slightly jerky. Except for this one fault, the version we tested was the one which will be winging its way to your softshop. EA assures us they will iron out the problem, and the scrolling will be as smooth as out editor's chat up lines. My only real criticism is that many of the levels are too similar, but this is a fault with most platform games. For Flood a special level-editor program was written to save time in creating subsequent levels. Although this allowed freelance designers to crate their own levels easily, it has meant that a number look very similar. That's a pity, but it's also probably too harsh a judgement on a game that's got 42 levels in all.

The intro music and in-game sound effects were composed by French musician Charles Callet. The intro tune is jolly enough, but the incidental sound effects are excellent and lend real atmosphere to the game. Gurgling and splashing sounds are everywhere. And when you finally crack the game (after a long time, I can tell you!) there's a truly bizarre end-of-game sequence.

Flood is a superior platform game that should provide hours of fun and frustration. It's awash with bright ideas.


Flood: Intro starring Quiffy
No wonder Quiffy looks a bit upset...
Flood: Intro starring Quiffy
..his underground home has been invaded and is slowly flooding...
Flood: Intro starring Quiffy
...so he has got to escape before it's too late.

Flood logo ZERO Hero

"Water relief!" This game actually has nothing to do with either Noah, the Thames flood barrier, dodgy plumbing jobs or even um... going to the toilet, as Jackie Ryan found out.

Floods eh? Who needs 'em? Horrible, wet, soggy things that seep round sandbags by night, over the tops of wellies by day and then leave vile silt 'designs' on Aunt Edna's carpet, making it look even more horrendous than before. And what about old Noah eh? Can't have been much fun for him to spend all his free time building a huge boat when he could have been watching the World Cup.

Lucky then that the problems you encounter in Flood, the newie from Bullfrog (those nice people who brought you Populous, remember?), have absolutely nothing to do with such dilemmas. 'Cos Flood is simply yet another of those cute, arcade adventure type games, but with enough different and original elements, enough hugeness and enough fiendish trickiness to make it stand out a mile from the rest.

In Flood you play Quiffy(?!) a rotund and very verdant member of a race called the Blobbies. For years the Blobbies have been living peaceably in secret caverns deep underground and feeding off the trash left behind by bygone inhabitants. But just recently the caverns became invaded by vicious Psycho Teddies, venomous snails and the particularly devilish Bulbous Headed Vong. The mean invaders then proceeded to pick off all the Blobbies one by one, until now only Quiffy (our hero) is left. Awwww.

Anyway, until now, Quiffy has been managing to survive all on his lonesome very nicely thank you. But as the game begins and you take control of the left, right, up, down, jumping green sprite that is Quiffy, you suddenly realise that the mysterious taps of wrath, that have been dry for centuries, are beginning to spurt forth, filling up the caverns with water. Yikes! And even though you, as a member of the Blobbie race seem to have evolved with an underwater face mask stuck permanently to your 'boat race', as you can't actually breathe underwater, you think it might be quite a good idea to make your way to the surface. Not very Jacques Cousteau of you, but never mind.

And that's what Flood is all about. Manoevring Quiffy through the smoothly scrolling 42 levels of varying size and difficulty, finding and eating all the trash cans that are available on each level to keep his energy level high and then moving him on to the next level by finding the end of level teleport which will 'beam him up Scotty' to the next level.

But it's not that easy. On each level there are various baddies which drain Quiffy of his energy, hidden switches that hide various dangers and treasures, walls covered with sheer ice that the usually sticky Quiffy finds it impossible to climb. And though there is always some way or something that you can use to get round these problems, the beauty of Flood is that they are not always immediately obvious and it'll take you some puzzling to suss out how to get to the end of each level.
And though there is no real time restriction on completing each level, don't forget, the water is still rising, so you must get the trash before the cavern fills completely with water!

Flood is not just another arcade adventure, it's a huge and immensely clever one too. For all of you looking for a good few hours worth of trash collecting, baddie avoiding and brain cell puzzling, make sure you take a gander.

Amiga reviewJackie: Gordon Blimey O' Bennet! There's just so much in this game that I don't know where to start. I mean there's Quiffy for a kick off - small but perfectly formed (just like my good self actually). He's nicely animated and very easy to move, which is especially important in a game like this where you need a combination of pixel by pixel accuracy, as well as fast, huge leaping movements. Then there's the variety of baddies, all clearly drawn and nicely animated. These need to be avoided or dispatched in certain ways, that are not always obvious. And what about all the quirky and individual touches the programmers have introduced, like the ghost of Quiffy's mad Aunt, who begins to chase after him after a few minutes into each level, following his exact movements to the pixel, losing him energy if she catches him?

So p'raps I should just say that Flood is one of those fab arcade adventures with smooth scrolling, fast action, tons of puzzles, which in essence seems very simple but is actually very tricky to complete. It's one of those games where once you've worked out the right way to do a level, you would think you'd be able to do it in your sleep. However, it has random surprise elements thrown in like the flamethrower that occasionally turns into a chicken just when you want it to blast some baddies, so you can never be too sure.

The only annoying bit is when you kick the bucket just before completing a level and you then have to go right back to the beginning again. Still there are password icons to be picked up on certain levels, which come in very handy. And with over 40 levels, I can forsee many a long hour sat at my Amiga.


FLOOD AND SAND!
Flood: Userface explanation Flood: Userface explanation
  1. OXYGEN - This bar shows how much Oxygen Quiffy has left for his underwater dives to collect any submerged trash.
  2. SCORE - Erm, what do points make? Er, points actually.
  3. TRASH - This is the number of trash cans Quiffy must collect from this level before he can go on.
  4. LIFE FORCE - Quiffy's health. Keep it up by eating trash. Let it get to zero and you'll lose one of your three lives.
  5. QUIFFY - This is 'you' complete with cow lick quiff.
  6. VACUOUS GOMBO - A mindless mutant that does little more than pace up and down. Drains life force on contact though.
  7. GHOST - The ghost of Quiffy's mad Aunt chases him round each level, if she catches him she will drain his life force.
  1. PSYCHO TEDDY - They'll eat anything, including the trash cans, thereby reducing the amount Quiffy himself needs to collect.
  2. TRASH CANS - Quiffy needs to collect all the trash cans before he can go on to the next level.
  3. FLAMETHROWER - Grab this and blast to incinerate anything in your path. Unless Quiffy's already eaten it, as he has done in this case.
  4. FLOOD - Rising water level, Quiffy cannot say under water very long, so it's best to try and get low lying tash cans first.
  5. BEADY BALLS - Cause damage to Quiffy's life force on contact.
  6. TELEPORTER - When Quiffy has all the trash he must use this to teleport to the next level.

Flood logo

Electronic Arts, Amiga £24.95

Being neat and tidy has suddenly become very trendy, both on planet Earth in Skidz and now in the fabulous underground caverns of Quiffy's world. And who is Quiffy? Well think of a short Phil King, with a bigger quaff of hair, and painted green. Not a pretty sight, but this pudgy guy is our hero and we're stuck with him. Other differences between him and Phil are: he eats trash (Phil creates it), he can climb up walls and across ceiling (Phil has to be helped up the stairs), and he's a dab hand with all manner of weapons (Phil's adept only with balls).

Quiffy's world is made up of 42 levels, each of which is completed a level by eating all the trash before finding the end-of-level teleporter. Quiffy has to be quick about it too, because he is pursued everywhere by the ghost of his chastising aunt. She appears a couple of seconds after Quiffy arrives on a level, and follows his exact route - only slightly faster! This is a problem because she drains Quiffy's energy with every contact.

Another problem is water: most of the caverns have a tendency to rapidly fill up with it. Quiffy can dive below the water, and swim about, but he can only hold his breath for so long...

Sadly, most of the other creatures in the game are perfectly happy breathing water and they're all after Quiffy. Leaping Psycho Teddies kill on contact - as do Sparkling Fungi, static objects which must be avoided. Just as dangerous are Doctor Dustys, which wear hard hat and love to throw around sticks of explosive! By comparison slovenly snails, ricocheting Beady Balls, floating Lumpy Wanderers, sleepy Plonkin Donkins and Vacuous Gombos are welcome. Although they all drain Quiffy's energy.

It's just as well there are some weapons for Quiffy to collect, including grenades, dynamite and a Huge Flamethrower which will torch just about everything. Dying nasties even leave a heart of energy for Quiffy to catch. Other objects which can be picked up include Stout (extra life), Cocktails (brief invulnerability), Switches (discover secret objects and uncover secret passages), Plungers (briefly pauses flood) and Droplets (speed it up). There's also mines which throw you up in the air, balloons for a more sedate ride upwards and parachutes for a calm descent downwards. Best of all there's question marks, which give you a password enabling you to start at that level from then on.


Phil King Don't be put off by the unimpressive screenshots, Flood is an extremely addictive game. This cute arcade adventure reminds me of New Zealand Story, especially with the touches of sick humour like Quiffy blowing himself up with a grenade! I especially like the way the hero can crawl along walls and ceilings. Of course the rising water levels add an extra twist with the omnipresent danger of drowning - and sometimes you even have to dive deep underwater to get to trash. Add continue-plays and a simple password system to avoid frustration and you've got one of the most enjoyable cutesy games around.
Scorelord This is great! The graphics are a little disappointing with black backgrounds and little variety in the platforms and enemies, but all the sprites are imaginative and very well drawn. The weapons are superb, with excellent explosions and some great samples - especially the rattle of a bouncing grenade. But it's the gameplay that matters, which is surprisingly varied. On some levels all you need is a quick finger, other times it's brainache time as you puzzle over which switches to press and in what order. I especially like the levels where you had to use droplets to raise the water level, the tense deep diving and walking along the laser beams. My only real complaint is the price. While there is plenty of well-designed gameplay here, there are only 42 levels and about a dozen enemy creatures. Still, any game that gives you a gun bigger than yourself, throwing a flame longer than a screen is well worth considering!