In the past, some of the best game characters like Zool, Chuck Rock, Bub & Bob and James Pond have appeared on the Amiga, but where are today's stars? Zool has gone back to the Nth Dimension, Chuck has rocked off, Bub & Bob are somewhere over the rainbow and James Pond has flipped out!
The lack of decent characters is slightly worrying, but I think a solution to rectify this problem has been found. Millennium, a company already successful with the James Pond series of adventures, have invented a brand new platform character and Pinkie is his name.
With his home base set on the planet Purple, Pinkie is small in stature, owns a big heart, a bouncy walk, a huge appetite and perhaps the cheesiest grin you've ever seen in your life.
The actual game is a blend of hot and frenzied platform action, plus a good healthy dose of puzzles have been chucked in there for good measure. Millennium are hoping that Pinkie will do the business for them and hopefully become as big as his platform contemporaries.
Pinkie makes plenty of happy jaunts to other planets in the solar system with the intent of exploring and meeting other beings. Pinkie's fist mission in this, his debut game, is to save the alien dinosaurs form extinction.
This is done by collecting the eggs and keeping them safe in his Pinkie pod. The eggs are yellow with blue spots and are extremely fragile. When the eggs hatch a fully formed baby dinosaur pops out. The eggs have been placed, unfortunately for Pinkie, in the most precarious of places throughout the galaxy.
If the hero of the game drops an egg it is likely to shatter. Once this happens, the baby dinosaur immediately extends its legs out until they reach the floor and then runs away. These highly mobile eggs cause Pinkie all manner of problems. If Pinkie does manage to collect all the eggs and save the dinosaur race, he will be handsomely rewarded by the King of the Pinkies.
There have been so many platformers similar to Pinkie that I could possibly list them all.
Titles like Zool 2 and Bubba 'n' Stix stand out in the mind because they've only just come and gone, but if I had to compare Pinkie to anything, I would have to delve into Millennium's back catalogue.
The James Pond series of games have delighted gamers the world over with their brilliant mix of platform action and teasing set of puzzles. The best out of the series was, undoubtedly the last one Millennium released.
James Pond 3 had better quality graphics than its predecessors and overall was a much more rounded and complete game, mainly due to its unmatched levels of gameplay and addiction.
The music in Pinkie is pure unadulterated pop and so it should be. The games score will go down in the history books as just another cheesy platform tune, but Millennium have taken the concept of game music a step further.
The brief was not to produce a single from the game music, instead Millennium asked Station 2 Station to produce an original interpretation of a game "score".
Station 2 Station finished up with a 30-track single entitled "Play-it" and it features the vocal talents of Kelly Smith AKA Little Sister. CD32 owners will have the pleasure of having all 30 mixes of the same single and you, as the listener, will be able to make up your own favourite mix.
A1200 owners will just have to buy the single on its own when it hits the charts!
The sound effects, before I forget, are just standard noises and aren't worth shouting about, but they do the job adequately enough.80%
The visuals in Millennium's platformer are superb and Pinkie really does look like a cartoon. This is partly down to the traditional animation pastel colour palette which really brings all the game characters to life.
Not surprisingly, Millennium have got plans to take their pink star from the monitor screen and place him on the TV screen in his own animated cartoon.
The main character jumps and prances around the screen and is very well animated, plus there are so many nice animated touches that it's obvious a lot of time and trouble has been spent on creating Pinkie.
The backgrounds differ from level to level and range from snowy wastes to alien worlds (complete with pulsating backdrops). The graphics are so good that Pinkie literally looks like a breath of fresh air in the otherwise dull and stale world of platformers.85%
Pinkie is a cracking little platformer. It looks beautiful with its pastel coloured graphics, it has a nice and cheesy poptastic soundtrack and even the gameplay differs from its competitors as it's heavily puzzle-
Pinkie, as a concept, isn't anything different and doesn't contain any new surprises, but as a game on its own works remarkably well. I don't think I've seen a platformer cuter than this one and I imagine Pinkie, as a character, will be a huge success.
The game is obviously going to appeal to the 11-16 age group, mainly because that's exactly who the game was designed for. Older gamers might want to take a look, but may prefer something with a little more substance.
Pinkie is a harmless little platformer that won't hurt anybody.