This game is billed as "So cute it'll make you puke". Hardly one of the most enticing or attractive pieces of copy-writing I've ever encountered. In fact, I think "Milwaukee, home of the serial killer" is a far more inviting, erm, invitation.
So what is this Rodland platform game gubbins all about? Well, it all starts in the fairy village - don't they all? - where something is definitely up. The formerly chummy, pally, dog-foody inhabitants of the village have been possessed by an evil force that was only previously kept in check by the presence of Mom.
The sad thing is that our Mom has been kidnapped by the nasty chap who started buzzing this evil force around in the first place. This, of course, means that none of the wee little furry things that ran around, shall we say, er, fouling, your garden can now resist this force.
They soon become furry freaks that run around angrily messing in your garden as well as trying to kill you. And while all this is going on, poor Mom is locked up at the top of the Maboots tower, screaming and wailing for help.
Of course, anyone called Mom really ought to have some sprogs. She does two as it happens. Tam and Rit are understandably miffed at their Mom being kidnapped.
There is only one solution: they dash off to the Elder to grab his Rainbow shoes and arm themselves with the Rods of Sheesanomo, a gift from their magically inclined father. Now they are fully equipped to go around and wop all the angry furries over the head in an extremely violent, but insufferably cute manner.
These creatures take many forms, from long eared rabbits to poly-morphs that lay out a very long tongue in an effort to catch you, not to mention the boomerang throwing starfish, or the sharks that try to elicit sympathy by crying before you give them the final blow of the three that all creatures must take.
This is slightly misleading, in fact, because you don't hit them but use your rod to pick them up and swing them back and forth over your head banging them against the ground until they disappear. If you're lucky they will turn into a bonus pick up - see details at the top right of this screen.
The pick-ups can range from bonus points to flying bombs and sticks of dynamite, all of which can be used to destroy the creatures for even more points. Strangely enough, Tam and Rit also have a remarkable talent for summoning ladders from thin air. Quite what relevance this magical ability would have in everyday life I'm not sure. It's nearly as useful as a camel that can swim, but in a platform game the benefits are marvelous.
At will, Tam and Rit can summon a ladder to give them access to areas of a platform that may be blocked by the possessed creatures. Or, should the level allow it, they can take a ride on some of the balloons that float up from the bottom of the screen from time to time. The malicious among you will take great pleasure in bursting your companion's balloon in a two-player game.
Every level is full of pretty flowers that, when collected, give a small bonus. If you collect them all before you kill all the creatures you are zapped into a bonus game where every creature left is turned into a radish that runs around in the usual aggressive manner. Every radish that gets bashed relinquishes a little ball that cycles through the letters of the word EXTRA - collect all the letters and you will receive a massive bonus.
This bonus is most useful in two-player games where one player takes the role of Tam and the other Rit. Between fighting for the bonuses and collecting as many flowers as you can, teamwork goes out of the window as the pitched battle for points rages onscreen.
One-player though is nearly as much fun as you dodge, climb and panic your way around the lumbering potato sacks, pathetic sharks and the radishes. Not only do you have the day-to-day style creatures, after every five levels or so you face a really big animal that can be a mutant bull, huge sperm whale (schoolboy humour alert!), or dangerously large crab. What fun it is!
This conversion of the Jaleco coin-op is better than the original, which suffered from being an average copy, gameplay
These appear when time is beginning to run out on the level: just before where the creatures turn into blue meanies and chase around madly, they find a piece of food and eat it. It is this that turns them into the aforementioned Lennon/
For example, the rabbit will find a carrot, the monkey a banana and so on. It all adds to the fun and the rest of the graphics match the colourful, though admittedly simple, screens from the coin-op.
Sound is unashamedly stereophonic, collapse on one side of the screen and the sound will come from the corresponding speaker. The playability is pretty good too. It's not too easy to begin with but the 40 odd levels should ensure that you get your money's worth, especially if you get the chance to play it with a friend.
The only down point is that the gameplay might be considered by some to be a tiny weeny bit repetitive, but with the humour, the speed and the mixture of different creatures you soon forget that all you are really doing is building ladders.