OH Great, a sailing game. I just love sailing games (says he with just a hing of sarcasm). But what is this on the back of the box? "You have heard it all before - amazing graphics, stunning 3D effects...". Well they are right there, I certainly have heard it all before. Several times. Several times today, in fact. And it is still early. Ah, but perhaps this is not about sailing. And perhaps the blurb on the back is actually telling the truth? What makes me suspect this? Could it be the rather excellent opening animations and the cutesy tune? Yes, I think it could. Well I never, perhaps I am going to enjoy this game after all.
Like all the best games, Typhoon Thompson's plot is minimal, and what little there is does not make sense. From what I can discover, TT must save the day by rescuing a baby abducted by some water spirits. The mysterious Spirit Guardians will aid you in your quest, if you in turn help them join the local freemasons by collecting various objects, such as daggers, hammers and balloons. They give you four Jet Sleds in which to explore the ocean planet and an extra life for every Masonic item you collect. The mouse-driven sleds are of the highly manoeuvrable variety, which for a change does not mean darn difficult to control but, instead, quite easy and fun to play with.
So off you set from the home island toward the first island village. The village consists of seven islands, each containing a number of flyers. The flyers come in several brands, each with distinguishing characterstics and weapons. They are the Bad Guys, and will quite happily do something nasty to you, whether it is trapping you in a bubble, making your sled go purple and explode, or just bumping you off into the sea.
You get your own back on the flyers by shooting them with the weapons supplied by the guardians, nice chaps. Once the flyers have been hit, the occupants - the sprites - are thrown clear of the wreckage and splash around stunned in the water.
No matter how many times you stun them, the sprites cannot be destroyed and must always be collected. Must be hard wear sprites. Once all the island occupants have been gathered up you are presented with the fabulous treasure (a balloon) and start on the next island. Each island gets trickier, with more and more sprites released from the even more abundant flyers. By the time you have reached the third of the four islands, the number of creatures flailing around in the ocean slows things down a trifle. Not enough to interfere with the gameplay, mind you.
Sound is disappointing. Effects are a little thin at times, rather reminiscent of the bad old days of AY sound chips (the one the ST uses).
The animation, however, is very well executed, humorous and fun to watch. Clearly a lot of efforst was spent here. At the expense of the gameplay? No, I do not think so. The plot is simple, but that is part of the game: Simple and addictive.