Team 17 are quickly gaining a reputation as the best Amiga games company in the business. For starters they've got the right attitude. Quality and not quantity is their motto.
Almost every piece of software they've released has been without a doubt an absolute classic. Team 17 use the best graphic artists, programmers and quite possibly the best music and sound effects man in the world.
Just take a look at their list of releases. There was Alien Breed, a classic Gauntlet-
The boys from Wakefield then returned to form with Body Blows, a beat-'em-up that completely battered the pathetic Streetfighter 2 to death with its brilliant graphics and sound.
Team 17 have created the almost pefect Amiga shoot and beat-'em ups, but they've always wanted to do a classic Amiga platform game. The platformer in question is Superfrog and you too will believe a frog can fly...
I always get excited about Team 17 software mainly because even before I load it up I know it's going to be good. The graphics are superb, the sound is brilliant plus and the playability is truly excellent, almost without fail.
Making a piece of software of this type could have been extremely risky for any other company. How many platformers are instantly forgettable? Exactly, almost all of them.
Apart from a select few, good platformers are hard to find. The main problem is the platform game itself. How doe you make it so that it isn't alike alike to every other on the market? How do you make a platformer that isn't instantly compared to Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog or Zool? The answer is you can't.
Whatever product a softwarehouse releases, it is still going to be compared to another product whether it be a platform or a shoot-'em-up.
For example, any puzzle that involves the use of blocks is going to be compared to Tetris or Columns. Any interactive adventure is not going to escape without bearing some resemblance to Monkey Island 2. It's just the way this harsh computer games industry goes!
What Team 17 decided to do with Superfrog was not to make an alternative platformer, but to make a super-
Superfrog starts with a fantastic and very witty animation lovingly crafted and sculptured by Eric Schwartz. Eric, who you may have heard of, is responsible for loads of those cute PD cartoon animations that you see flying around. If you haven't see any then it's definitely worth ringing up a PD library just to enjoy the man's talents.
The animation is top notch and tells the story of a magic Prince and his bride-to-be. The Prince's land was full to the brim with feelings of peace and harmony - that was untl the wicked witch arrived on the scene. The old hag got incredible jealous of the Prince's bride-to-be and decided to turn the Prince into a slimy frog.
The Prince was now entirely helpless and decided to retire to the river bank to mourn over his lost love. A strange battle floated past, a strange battle containing a liquid known as Lucozade. Yes, I know it's not entirely believable, but it was a good way of getting a bit of advertising, plus Team 17 supremo Martyn Brown probably got a few freebies out of them. At least it'll keep him off the lager! Where was I? Ah yes, the strange bottle floated past the froggy Prince and he was so despondent he decided to drink it. With a flash of lightning and a gust of wind he had miraculously become Superfrog.
Thus our little froggy ffiend decided to put wrongs to right and get his beloved Princess back form the clutches of the wicked witch. Story time is over, now down to business. Superfrog is divided into six major worlds of which there are four sub-worlds. To complete one of these levels you must collect a certain number of coins which acts as a kind of toll fee.
The exact number of coins is shown on a large coin in the bottom right-
All this mental coin collecting is also against a time lmit. When the time runs out so do Superfrog's powers, so placed around the levels are bottles of Lucozade which when collected up will keep his energy topped up.
There are also a number of special powers scattered around each level for you to use. Collect the wings icon and this will enable you to perform great leaps in the air. The destructo-
Superfrog can also turn invisible thanks to the invisibility pill which renders our froggy hero invincible for a short period of time. There are plenty of bonus points to be picked up. These can come in the form of several different types of fruit. When you complete the level these points are converted into credits. You are given a chance to collect the points or better still gamble it all.
The gamble is a chance to play on a fruit machine, and instead of winning lots of cash you get the chance to win level codes, extra lives and thousands of points. The fruit machine is a good little feature and as far as I know it's never been before.
Controlling Superfrog couldn't be easier as the controls are very basic indeed. Although at first our slimey friend is a bit difficult to handle and seems a little bit too fast, after ten minutes of play your worries will be over and you'll be jumping and running through the levels like a newly-
I don't think I need to tell you how good Superfrog is - you can probably already tell from the score-box and the bloomin' massive Gamer Gold, but hey I'll tell you anyway.
Everything about Superfrog is just so polished. Every aspect has been carefully considered and as far as platform games go they just don't get any better than this.
The graphics are astoundingly good - all the characters are wonderfully drawn and you could almost think that you're watching a cartoon.
Sound is very nice, although the tunes can sometimes get a bit annoying. A bit of funk or metal would have been nice instead of those sugary platform tunes. The sound effects are good, though, with a smattering of sampled speech.
It plays like a dream. At first it looks extremely basic, but as you progress it becomes more intricate and increasingly more difficult.
This looked as though it could be aimed at small children and would be very easy, but stick it on the harder level and even the most experienced gamer is going to have his or her work out.
Superfrog is quite simply Team 17's greatest release to date. It's full to the brim with great graphics, sound, playability and addiction. You'd have to be completely potty or hopping mad to ignore it. 1993 is going to be Team 17's year. I can feel it in my bones.