Naughty Ones logo

Ayone fancy a quick game of Naughty Ones in the back room? The normally tranquil, yet highly-industrious Amiga Format office was a blur of falling chairs and rushing bodies as the team legged it towards the door.

The nimble Frank Bartucca looked favourite to make it first, but a timely shoulder charge by Sue White sent him sprawling into Marcus Dyson and a heavy-breathing Sue pipped Julie Tolley to the door.

"Me, me, me me," squeaked Sue. "I want to play Naughty Ones, what do I have to do?"
"Just grab the joystick Sue, and we'll get down to business."

And so it was that Susan White learned that Naughty Ones is an excellent new platform game from Interactivision that can be played in one or simultaneous two-player mode, and I learned lots of interesting new swear words as we whiled the afternoon away.

When we started, I observed that the graphics and gameplay seemed to leave a bit to be desired. "Looks knob to me," ventured Ms White. But we persevered: "Let's suck it and see," said Sue. So we sucked and we saw that Naughty Ones is an intriguing platform game.

It's tricky in some parts, and easy in others. It's bright and bouncy, but not sickeningly cutesy. It's an ideal game for kids, but still offers a challenge and stocks of enjoyment for the more experienced games player.

You control John and Jim and guide them through five worlds on a quest to defeat the evil king. The words consist of linked rooms, and you must find a key in each of them to progress to the next.

Power-ups give you bouncing killer shots, extra lives, extra speed, or vertical killer shots, and occasionally you will stumble over a hidden bonus room or need to find a switch to uncover a hidden platform.

The baddies include robots, blobby things, soldiers, plasma death bolts, mummies, crocodiles, spiders, birds and clocks, most of which are easily dispatched, but some of which require thought, perseverance and split-second timing.

"Let me jump on the bear with the balloon. Why's it called Naughty Ones?" squealed Sue.
"I don't know."
"Hit the switch to turn on the thing to take me over the gap. Why's it called Naughty Ones?" repeated Sue.
"I really don't know."

"Jump on the lift! Mind the acid, mind the acid!"
Why's it called Naughty Ones?" shrieked Sue.
"I DON'T KNOW!!!"


NAUGHTY AND NICE TIPS

One of the best features of Naughty Ones is the simultaneous two player option. If you are playing two-players, remember that it sometimes makes more sense to send the player with the greater number of lives into a room to collect the key, while the other player waits for the baddies to be defeated, collects the extra lives, and then legs it to the exit. Naughty Ones is available in both AGA and non-AGA versions, and a CD32 version is due for release in April or May.


Plattform-Streiche für zwei

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Mit "Fatman" haben die Frischlinge von Kompart bereits ein ganz brauchbares Jump & Run im Programm, doch die Show muß weitergehen - zusammen mit Interactivision hüpft es sich nun schon eine Ecke besser!

Angesichts der anfänglich recht trüben Optik möchte man die "bösen Buben" zunächst für eine Ausführung der Budget-Bühne halten: Das Intro setzt sich aus ein paar Vierfarb-Bildchen zusammen, dann wandern Mini-Sprites vor öden Hintergründen einher, die nicht mal richtig scrollen - erreicht man den Bildrand, wird einfach das neue Bild hereingeschoben.

Doch der erste Eindruck täuscht, denn später wird's richtig hübsch, und man glaubt gerne, daß keine Geringeren als die geübten Demo-Coder von Melon Dezign hinter dem Game stecken.

Freilich, ein Feuerwerk an technischen Gags brennt Naughty Ones an keiner Stelle ab, doch die Spielbarkeit stimmt. Über kurz oder lang entwickelt das Spiel nämlich denselben unerklärlichen Charme, der einst Genreklassiker wie "Bubble Bobble" oder "Rick Dangerous" auszeichnete - man bleibt einfach am Screen kleben und will immer noch einen Level schaffen.

Denn die Programmierer haben sich schon einiges einfallen lassen, um ihren Baby einen Platz in der derzeit mächtig gut bestückten Plattform-Loge am Amiga zu scihern. So ider der furiose Zwei-Spieler-Modus nicht die einzige gute Idee in diesem Game, beispielsweise gibt es da noch einen witzigen Allzweck-Flummi: Der Ball dient als Direktgeschoß gegen Feinde ebenso wie zum Säubern von unzugänglichen Stellen, da er an Mauervorsprüngen oder sonstigen Kanten abprallt.

Daneben müssen Sofas als Sprungbretter herhalten, russische Teddybären werden mit Tetris-Steinen um sich, und kleine Feuerteufel fackeln die Gegend ab, um den Spieler unter Zeitdruck zu setzen.

Nein, bierernst geht es in de fünf Welten (Techno, Feuer, Ägypten, etc.) à zehn Bildern un wahrlich nicht zu, wenngleich man das hier tonnenweise herumliegende Bonusallerlei schon mit dem gebotenen Ernst aufsammeln sollte.
Immerhin garantiert das meiste davon einen höheren Score, und gelegentlich trifft man auch auf (eher unscheinbare) Extrawaffen, Energiereserven, Zusatzleben oder Geheimkammern.

Und so macht das Hüpfen denn auch den gebotenen Spaß, vor allem im Duo-Modus, da Teamwork dem ansonsten frustrierend hohen Schwierigkeitsgrad etwas den Zahn ziehen kann - zusätzliche Continues hätten allerdings trotzdem nicht geschadet.

Summa summarum werden Freunde des gepflegten Plattform-Sports bei Naughty Ones also duchaus überdurchschnittlich unterhalten, jedenfalls solange sie nicht allzu anspruchsvoll sind. Den Genießern sei die extrabunte Spezialversion für den A1200 empfohlen, für die man bei der Grafiknote fünf Prozentpunkte addieren darf.

Sie werden sich jedoch über ein kleines Manko des Games besonders ärgern: Weder läßt sich die Disk auf Festplatte installieren, noch kann man sie kopieren - und trotzdem gibt's eine lästige Handbuchabfrage! (rl)



Naughty Ones logo

Saucy Jack - he's a naughty one and that's for sure. So are this lot apparently.

On the back of the box, it says "One of the most spectacular platformers of all time". What a load of old tosh. I mean, take a look - does the word 'spectacular' leap even anywhere near your mind? No, it doesn't. Why do people write rubbish like this? Your average punter's going to take one look at it in the shop, say "That's not spectacular, don't be stupid", and immediately put it back on the shelf, which would be a shame as it'd mean they were missing out on one of the year's best games to date. I mean, as it is nobody believes me that it's brilliant, simply because it doesn't look very impressive at first glance, so spouting rubbish like that is just going to turn your potential consumers off at source. Tch.

LITTLE BEGGARS
Anyway, to the game. It's fabulous. No, really. It's the third Bubble Bobble sequel that never was, it's Rick Dangerous the way it should have been, it's everything platform games should be but almost never are.

It's simple to play but with a sharp difficulty curve that'll start to give you problems before you're halfway through the first world, it's got a simultaneous two-player mode which isn't hopelessly hamstrung by scrolling problems (because there isn't any scrolling), it constantly introduces new features but never gets confusing... It's fun, y'know? I like it more the more I play it.

Here's how it is. There are five worlds in Naughty Ones, each made up of several single screen-levels (the first world has 11 levels, but the number increases as you go on). In most of the levels you have to collect a key to open the door to the exit, but as you progress things get slightly more complicated, with switches to throw to make blocking walls disappear and operate pulleys and stuff as well.

Sometimes, in the super-complicated bits, the switch will be on a different screen to the wall (although never more than one screen away). Lots of bad guys litter the levels, and you can kill them if you like. You don't have to, but you get points, and if you kill them in a specified order (indicated by a big arrow above the head of the one you're supposed to get next), you get more points, extra lives and all that kind of thing. I can't think of anything else you have to do.


Well, I'm always a dead sucker

MISCREANTS
I'm not really sure how to make this sound more convincing. I saw early demos of Naughty Ones, and wasn't impressed. I only picked it up when it arrived in the office because no-one else had come in yet, and I felt like killing a few minutes before I started work. And yet, five minutes in, I was setting on the edge of my chair, going "Argh!" and "Eek!" and "Oh no, look at that!" and all kinds of things.

Which was stupid, because there wasn't anybody there to hear me, but I couldn't really help it. At first I though, "Well, I'm always a dead sucker for a cute single-screen platformer, I shouldn't read too much into this", but as I went on and the whole story, as it were, unfolded, I began to find myself thinking "No, actually, it's not just me, this isn really good.

From straightforward arcadey beginnings, it gradually pulls you into more thoughtful areas, with screens that you have to study for a bit before you go racing off, and decisions to make about routes, and secret rooms to find, and gambles to risk for extra lives and power-ups and all-sorts (literally and metaphorically.)

It starts like Parasol Stars, but after a while it's really like Rick Dangerous, except without all of those unbelievably annoying invisible hazards that you've got no way of knowing about until they kill you.

It's really tricky in parts, but purely in terms of demanding skill from the player, not by overwhelming you with speed or numbers or things you can't see - even with an infinite lives cheat I was struggling to get through some of it.

You don't get any continues or passwords or anything, so you actually have to be good to get anywhere, and even when you've been through a screen a dozen times, you still have to be careful, despite the fact that bad guys don't come back after you've killed them and only the indestructible hazards remain.

And isn't it great to have a game that comes on a single disk with practically no accessing?

Well, by the time I'd finished thinking all that, the rest of the team had arrived. I docked them all a day's pay for being late, and said "What do you think of this?" They said "We think it's a bi unfair, actually, it's only quarter to ten", and I said "No, no, what do you think of the game?" But they were too busy moaning about their wages to form any constructive opinions, so, er, that's the sketch knackered, um...

TYKES ON BIKES
Don't you just hate it when you lose your concentration and wander off the subject like that? What I'm trying to say here, I suppose, is that I've kinda shot myself in the foot again (like with Cool Spot two issues ago), by giving three pages to a really simple game that there isn't anything to say about except "It's really good, buy it."

The difference with this one, though, is that you've probably never head of, it was written by foreigners (no!), it doesn't look earth-shattering, it doesn't have an amazingly cool character, and it won't be on GamesMaster. I feel safe in predicting a low-20s chart position, at the most. Prove me wrong.

But anyway, I guess the only part of the review left to do is to decide on the mark. At first I reckoned somewhere in the mid-80s, but then I realised that I'd be just as bad as I'm ranting at you lot for, in marking it down simply because it's not 'big' or glamorous. So then I thought high 80s, but suddenly remembered I'd given Team 17's Qwak 88%, and while that's a really smashing little game, it's not as pretty, varied or involved as this, so it really shouldn't get as high a score.

Oh, what the hell, I haven't given anything 90 in ages, I'm going to give it 90.



Naughty Ones logo

Okay, so who's a naughty one then? Me, me, gushed Lisa Collins as she lunged forward to grab hold of Interactivision's latest offering.

Two cute little Blues Brothers lookalikes are happily strolling along, when suddenly the sky darkens, the wind starts to howl (I'm getting scared) and next thing you known they're plunged into a mazelike nightmare. To escape they must battle their way through five mad, bad, and dangerous platform worlds.

WORLDS APART
First up is the world of the Mad Mechanics, and no it's got nothing to with Kevin from Coronation Street going berserk with spanner. Mad Mechanics world is, in fact, a land of evil robots and deadly bouncy balls which you must race through, making sure to pick up the various bonuses lying around.

Next, it's Crazy Clocks world where you must watch out for killer cuckoo clocks before coming up against the enormous end-of-level giant clock.

Once you've clocked up enough mileage (aggh!) here it's on to the next level - Foreign Affair. Here you get to be James Bond for a while. Well, not exactly, but we can all live in hope. After Foreign Affair, it's on to sizzling action in Furious Fire world before finally reaching the last one - Evil Egypt.

Apart from racing from one world to the next there are also lots of hidden bonus screens littered throughout Naughty Ones. For example, in Mad Mechanics, on the very first screen, if you leap to the far left hand side you will discover a bonus level where you can pick up loads of extra points by bouncing from one descending platform to another before you eventually fall off.

Throughout the game some objects are more useful than others: pick up a heart and you will get an extra life, pick up a key and it will tell you where the next exit is. Oh if only life were that simple.

NAUGHTY BUT NICE
Naughty Ones is a straightforward platform game, however, as well as the usual bonus screens and general tearing through various levels, there are some nice extra touches. The expanding map is a useful feature, allowing you to go back to earlier screens and pick up any items you might have forgotten. The graphics are good too. My favourite part has to be the Crazy Clocks world, which has nice stripy sofas that you can bounce on to reach those high platforms.

JUST NAUGHTY
Sound however, is the one area where I could really fault Naughty Ones. The little ditty playing in background of Mad Mechanics world nearly drove me insane. Playing through a level, with what amounts to piped supermarket music in the background made me feel as if I was trapped in Tescos.

The two-player option is actually quite good, allowing a mate to join in the on the antics. The gameplay, however, is not very challenging. Once you've learned each baddie's modus operandi they become very easy to kill, and despite the constant oncoming fire, it becomes very easy to get through each level.

Nonetheless, Naughty Ones is a good platform game, one which will keep you happy and entertained for a while - if not for eternity.


Naughty ones is available as AGA and non AGA and, believe it or not, I played both versions. So, what's the difference? Well, to be honest, not a lot. The plot, gameplay and sound is the same on both games. The non-AGA version has 32 colours on screen, whilst the AGA version promises 64 colours. We could hardly tell the difference.



Naughty Ones logo CD32

Two games that on the surface offer little, but with a bit of perseverance turn out to be worth exploring are Naughty Ones (Interactivision, 071-702 9391, £25.99 80 per cent) and Donk! (Supervision, 0348 840004, £25.99 77 per cent).

At first glance Naughty Ones looks like a decidedly average platform game in which you have to steer a couple of spritely lads through various rooms, picking up bonuses and avoiding hazards such as clocks, robots, dripping acid and plasma death bolts.

The game seems to be a straight port of the A1200 version, which scored a thumping 86 per cent in AF58, which means it's tricky, addictive, frustrating, fiendishly moreish, refreshingly simple and a smashing two-player romp.



Naughty Ones logo CD32

Was am Amiga gut war, ist auch für das CD32 gut genug, stimmt's? Natürlich stimmt es nicht, aber die CD-Konvertierung von Interactivisions Plattformbuben gleicht der A1200-Version trotzdem wie ein Ei dem anderen.

Halt, die Steurung wurde ja geringfügig modifiziert, außerdem gibt's nun eine Selbstbeweihräucherung des Herstellers als Intro. Nach wie vor haben wir es also mit einem netten Hüpfer zu tun, dessen hervorstechendeste Merkmale ein toller Simultanmodus für zwei Spieler und ein Gameplay mit dem Charme des Genre-Ahnherrn "Bubble Bobble" sind.

Bild für Bild turnt man durch diverse Szenarien, ist mit dem Aufsammeln von Bonusgoodies für höhere Scores, frische Energiereserven, Zusatzleben oder unscheinbare Extrawaffen beschäftigt und beharkt gelegentlich böse Hexen, Teddybären oder sonstige Knuddelgegner.

Als Geschoß dient dabei ein Flummi, der von den Wänden abprallt und so selbst schwer erreichbare Stellen von Feindbefall säubert. Langweilig? Nicht unbedingt, denn der abwechslungsreiche Plattform-aufbau mit den vielen kniffligen Stellen und einem herausfordernden Schwierigkeitsgrad macht durchaus Spaß - zumal in den 50 Levels ja noch Geheimkammern und witzige Endgegner der Entdeckung harren.

Ausdauerndes Zocken wird mit einer kaum atemberaubenden aber bunten und sich qualitativ von Level zu Level steigernden Grafik mit nett animierten Sprites belohnt - und mit den bekannt mittelprächtigen Begleitsounds der Disk-version bestraft; was für eine CD-Umsetzung ja ein echtes Armutszeugnis ist.

Wer also keine allzu hohen Ansprüche stellt und mit einem weiteren Game leben kann, das an den Fähigkeiten des neuen Mediums vorbeikonvertiert wurde, der darf jetzt in den Shop hüpfen. (rl)



Naughty Ones logo

Interactivision, £25.99
Amiga version: 90% AP36

Curiously, and for no good reason I can put my finger on, this fab little Bubble Bobble derivative is the first Amiga game I've played that's less fun on the CD32 than it was in the floppy versions. I think that up-to-jump (you morons) might have something to do with it, though.



Naughty Ones logo

INTERACTIVISION OUT NOW £25.99

The naughty ones are John and Jim. They've been trapped in the fantasy world of an evil king and the duty of traversing the five worlds and getting them back to their own land rests squarely on your shoulders. All you have to do is complete the various rooms that hold the heroes prisoner and then you can get back home.

Naughty Ones can be played as a single player game or you can team up with an equally mischievous buddy for simultaneous two-player fun.

Each room consists of a cunning array of platforms, each patrolled by devious demons in various guises. Indistinguishable blobs scooch up and down the platforms whilst more sinister robots and mechanical contraptions have taken over other levels. Each of the five worlds has a different theme.

The first, Mad Mechanics has a mechanical mood to it with deadly cranes, hidden cannons and heat seeking missiles standing between you and freedom. One of the more devious worlds is Furious Fire, inhabited by compulsive pyromaniacs. On this stage you have to extinguish all the beasts before they set fire to the level and burn it and you to the ground!

A platform game without pick-ups just wouldn't be on, so there's an ample smattering of objects to collect before you reveal the key to the level's exit. You can pick up bouncing killer shots to take out baddies with, extra lives, immortality and extra speed to name a few. The monsters you encounter will also drop coins when they've been killed and it's advisable to pick these up quickly to boost points and progress.

Naughty Ones looks cool enough on the CD32, but the main sprite graphics are pretty small, with some objects almost being missed due to their minuscule rendering. However, the game posesses some nice details such as conveyer belts and lifts to take you further into the game and some freak elemental problems such as flooding.

Hidden levels and secret rooms are also included, scattered through out the five worlds, and you'll notice that as the game moves along it gets harder with the enemy sprites taking on new abilities and attributes. The second level, Crazy Clock, heralds the arrival of baddies that bite back with immortal ghouls that drop objects on you from above as you walk underneath them.

Not the most original game ever seen, Jim and John even look like that more famous duo, Bub and Bob, from Rainbow Islands, but a speedy, fun puzzler none-the-less. In fact the whole game has a Bubble Bobble/Rainbow Islands feel to it and, unless there are any secret plans to release these Amiga classics on the CD32 that we don't know about, this will more than make up for their absence.

Young players will like the challenge, but older ones might want a bit more touch to go with their speech.