Bub and Bob, Zool, Soccer Kid and James Pond all have one thing in common. They're endearing characters in platform games. Not that empathy is the most important element in a computer game, but if you can identify in some way with your pixelated pal then the chances are, you'll want to keep playing.
Step forward Snapperazzi, a platform game about an alien news photographer from the planet Dirt whose ambition is to work for The Sun. To get his certificate in photographic dirty work, Snazzi must snap his way through seven worlds as well as a host of sub-levels.
Snazzi is deliberately portrayed as a baddie and indeed, he is a horrible little chap sporting an inane grin, a trilby and a flashing camera. No-one in the Amiga Format office likes the character Snazzi. This is not a good start. If you look at a character and say "Uuuurggh", it's generally the case that you won't be clutching that joystick for long. That is, unless the gameplay is totally brilliant, and incredibly exciting. Ahem.
Not only are The Sun involved in Snapperazzi, there's a pizza company involved as well as a brand of fizzy sweets and they have their own levels. I'm not against the idea of sponsorship and brand tie-ins but when they are splashed across the screen of an average-to-poo, platform game then.. actually, they're a pleasant distraction from the mundanity of the game.
You see, Snapperazzi is rather similar throughout. Sure, the levels are huge and there are 14 sub-games, but the worlds all look and feel very similar, and there are very few intricacies to the gameplay.
You bowl along, collecting rolls of film and snapping celebrities for cash, while avoiding Page Three girls shops. Yes, the shops, because old Snazzi is a shopaholic.
Snapperazzi is bright and colourful but this doesn't disguise the fact that the graphics are rather dull. There are a few good sound effects, but overall it's all indescribably tacky. Snapperazzi just doesn't hit the mark.