Keep in platform mood folks - at least for now - because it's time to meet a cute little British bulldog called Thomas. Well actually, he's not particularly cute - in fact to be brutally honest it seems as though this beast has chased at least half a dozen parked cars too many.
Um, come to think of it, the probability of Thomas being British is quite remote too, since Soundware are a German company and far more likely to plump for a native canine to fill any vacancies in the hero department than they are to employ a foreign mutt.
He is definitely a bulldog though - oh yes, a leg at each corner, a stumpy tail at the back, flabby jowls and a big "I am a bulldog" badge that effectively ends all speculation.
Having just complained at some length in the above review about the unoriginality of platform plots, you will excuse my lack of gushing enthusiasm as I briefly outline Tearaway Thomas. Are you ready? Here we go - you have to collect stuff and avoid/jump on things. Wow, eh?
The items Thomas must collect are diamonds, which have carelessly been scattered throughout tons of levels by a person or persons unknown. They're all over the blooming show - in trees, under bridges, and the more you collect, the more points you earn. Riveting stuff this, innit?
I'm a sarcastic old so and so, and to be fair Tearaway Thomas is actually quite a nifty little game. The fun begins in the woods near Thomas's home, with most of the all-important diamonds at first nestling tantalisingly in the branches of trees.
Strange and improbable though it may seem, bears inhabit the woods of this picturesque German forest, nasty big bears that will eat small bulldogs whole given half a chance.
Well no - the truth is, the bears are of the variety that you might find ina child's bed, and the only nastiness they exude is the knack of making Thomas flash briefly and lose energy points should he encounter one of them.
The rest of the game is very much in the same vein, with cute creatures aplenty adorning brightly coloured cheerful backgrounds.
Tearaway Thomas might very well find itself in the large bunch of also-rans if it wasn't for one specific feature that lifts it above many - its speed. The sprite is one of the fastest moving I've seen, making the game far more enjoyable to play.
The cuteness of it all means that few gamers above the age of about ten or twelve will be impressed, but for the youngsters among you, Tearaway Thomas is a fun game along the lines of Doodle Bug.