Steg the Slug logo

Codemasters * £7.99

At last, there's a game about a gastropod. Peter Sissons will be pleased. Steg is in a spot of bother. His kids, in their nest (nest? I don't think so) are starving, and he must feed them by collecting grubs in bubbles and blowing them to the babies. (Slugs eating grubs? I don't think so.)

It's a sort of platform/puzzle game, and it keeps you frustratedly rushing around making sure that the kids are fed and the grubs' passage is clear (as it were). Loads of other factors come into play, and Steg can, in true platform style, collect useful items and bonuses. Jetpacks, bionic legs and other items are all available, all of which you'd expect a slug to benefit from using.

In fact you need to utilise some of this space-age collectible technology if you're going to stand a chance of keeping pace with the starvation being experienced in the next on later levels.

There are 11 (smallish) levels in total, but it must be said that Steg is both novel and rather fun. It looks good and sounds quite jolly too. Not bad for an original budget release. Pity CodeMasters seem to be unaware of the true breeding habits of slugs.



Steg the Slug logo

After a casual fling after one too many drinks at last year's office do. Steg The Slug now has to spent his days catching to feed the hungry mouths of a number of newly acquired offspring, and here's where you come in.

You are separated from T'yungunz (as they're known here - try saying it out loud) by an vertically inter-connecting series of passageways and rooms. Maggots appear with you at the start of each level and by blowing and trapping them in bubbles you can send them floating up towards your next of T'yungunz at the end.

The bubbles are likely to pop on spikes but via various methods, introducing the puzzle element of the game, hopefully when they do, they'll pop so the maggots land nearer their goal than where they started, putting them in an ideal spot to be re-bubbled and then re-directed upwards.

If it all sounds a little out of the ordinary (in fact, Mastertronic's 8-bit One Man And His Droid is the only near comparison I can come up with), this is perhaps why I like it so much.

The overall originality (not to mention the neat password system) explain Steg's hook - you want to get onto the next level if only to see what it looks like. The Codies' usual budgety cartoony graphics fit in well - though these are a lot better than most - whilst once again they've implemented enough features (Steg can climb walls, and gain feet and jetpacks from bonuses) to keep the interest level high throughout.

This is just frustratingly addictive enough (expect to run out of time or bubble energy just at the last minute) to keep you coming back time after time.

All in all then, a great Codies game - very simple underneath, but nicely presented, packed with little surprises, and with a lovely friendly feel. For good clean fun though, you can't go wrong - and expect to see Steg again very soon.



Steg the Slug logo

CODEMASTERS OUT NOW £7.99

Apparently, the Spectrum market went ape over the exploits of this gallant Gastropod, and it would be easy to dismiss Steg's success on such a machine purely because it was the only game released for it that month. However, Steg the Slug is actually very playable.

Cast as the slimy Slug, the player has been charged with the task of feeding his young off-spring. These hungry little beggars are a little fussy, though, and demand grubs for their grub. Thus, the weird platform-based action gets rapidly more difficult as Steg scours a series of grub-filled mines in search of his family's dinner.

As a slug, Steg can slime up walls to get to the grubs, but there is also a succession of rocket packs and bionic legs to take him to previously inaccessible snacks. And once he gets to them, they can be taken to the end of the level by encapsulating them in a bubble - providing they don't come a cropper on the game's many hazards.

Okay, so it all sounds rather silly, but Steg is a very playable twist on the platform theme. New additions to the gameplay are steadily introduced to keep things interesting, and some of the later levels get very tricky indeed.

Oh, and it also comes in the most gross-coloured box I've ever seen (you know when you've got a cold and your phlegm literally glows in the dark? Well, that's the colour I mean). What more could you ask for?