Dizzy Returns kickstarter is anything to go by anyway. £25,620 raised with a £350,000 goal, ouch.
Still, there's over a dozen games starring the pugilistic ovoid in the world already and I feel like trying one out, so I decided to do some research into which of them is generally considered by fans to be the very finest of the Dizzy series. Then I learned that research is actually really boring, so in the end I just went with the third one: Dizzy III - Fantasy World Dizzy.
Right, there's a green guy blocking one exit, a roaring fire blocking the other, plus a jug and some fluorescent yellow bread sitting on that table. Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do about that.
I tried grabbing that red rock, but it appears that Dizzy can only carry two items at once. Which is actually really sensible game design because having to constantly backtrack to pick up items when you need them is a potentially endless source of joy. He said sarcastically.
Well, I have an apple, some bread, and I know where I can find a boulder. So one of these three items must be the key to this puzzle.
This came up immediately after the last message, without one moment for anything to actually occur. Apparently the rat was close enough to hit me at the same time he grabbed that bread. C'mon game, I solved your puzzle, you can't punish me when I've got the right answer!
Okay fine, I see how this works now. I'll pay more attention from now on, even on the safe looking screens. Not that this room could really be considered safe, not with that bloody snap-happy gator sticking his head up out of that large impassable stretch of water. Doesn't look like I'll be going that way any time soon.
Okay, I'm going to give this another shot, now I know to stay way clear from rats and... things in the background.
FOUR SCREENS LATER.
I could escape from this castle right now if this portcullis wasn't here, and there just so happens to be a lever positioned above it. Seems too convenient though.
Never mind, that's not important right now. All that matters is that I've opened up the path to freedom and I'm finally out of this bloody castle... right after I've gone up these steps and raided the top floors of anything useful or shiny I mean.
By the way I know that she's his girlfriend because there's a heart between them on the title screen. That's some pretty efficient storytelling.
Nope. That was my final life so I'm thrown back to the title screen again.
ONE EXTINGUISHED FIREPLACE AND A HUNGRY RAT LATER.
Well it turns out that knocking on a door wearing boxing gloves really doesn't make much of a sound, so that myth's confirmed I guess. But he could always just use his head! Actually that's probably not a good idea for an egg, scrap that plan.
ANOTHER RESTART LATER.
I've got a rock, an apple, an empty bottle, a key, a bone and a rope. The bottle used to have whisky in it when I found it, but Dizzy refused to part with it until he'd finished it all off. Then he spent the next few seconds randomly rolling around, which is a bloody dangerous thing to do in this deathtrap of a castle. I could have thrown a life away if I'd drank it next to water.
Oh, and there's that green monster in the cell at the start. You know, I never did try bribing him with the apple!
Out of frustration and desperation I gave up and asked a friend for help and he told me that the solution is actually perfectly obvious.
I would have never figured that out myself, not even through trial and error. And trial and error really ain't much fun when I get three chances to get it right before I'm kicked back to the start again.
Wait, did I just put a key down instead of the meaty bone? Oh fuck...
I suppose I should try jumping down there and see if that does anything to improve my situation. After dropping my valuables on the side of course, so I'll have the inventory space free to grab that other key on the off chance I make it over.
I can kind of see the appeal of Fantasy World Dizzy, as it's not without charm, but it's just so awkward. Combining a platformer with an adventure game isn't necessarily a great concept in the first place as adventure games tend to work best (in my opinion) when there's no consequence for failure and you're free to mess around and try things. But taking that idea and then adding finite lives, no checkpoints, zero saves, and a two item inventory produces a recipe for despair. No one wants to have to solve the same puzzle again and again, especially when you have hunt down the items each time.
Oh and plus, you know those coins I was finding? Turns out that you need to collect all of them to complete the game, and some are hidden behind pieces of scenery. Yep, you have to go and press fire against every bit of the background until all the coins have been discovered. So basically, fuck this game.
Though on the other hand this was getting scores in the 80-90% range at the time and was voted the 25th best ZX Spectrum game ever made by Your Sinclair magazine, so it apparently entertained someone at some point. But then the Speccy never did get Super Mario Bros. or a Lucasfilm adventure, so I imagine the bar was set incredibly low.
If you want to talk about the Dizzy games, explain how there's actually lots of good ZX Spectrum platformers that I just haven't heard of, or would just like give your opinion on this site in general, you can leave a comment in the box.