Spud! - PC, 12/3/96
Spud! - PC
The sight of an exclamation mark in a game's title is usually sufficient to spark off a bout of shingles.
But stop flaking, man, becasue Spud! is a pleasingly novel cartoon adventure.
Novel in story-line (boy rescues Santa), controls (hot cursor) or gameplay (a grossly linear array of fairly basic puzzles)? No. Novel in graphics and gnome-machine-making? Yes.
Spud! lives and dies by its unique viewing technique - and in this case, it lives!
You move the mouse around to pan about the scene before you in real-time, just like Doom (except you can't move). It works superbly, and effectively makes an otherwise average game get better.
Having said that, the 3D free-movement effect is soured when you go forward, and unseen hands ease you onto the two or three pre-rendered pathways leading from each of the 100 or so screens.
Though Spud's clever pastiche of a proper 3D environment is fun, it can't disguise the bland find-CD-to-put-in-stereo-to-wake-up-reindeer puzzles.
Happily, King, things are salvaged by a lovely inventory screen (using the same 3D panning) wherein one may fuse gnomes with buzzers and stuff to make machines to resolve the more enduring riddles.
Sam & Max it ain't, but it's so nice to see a point-and-clicker spunky enough to try something new.
Spud! - PC CD-ROM (2 CDs) - by Alternative
Req: 486DX 4Mb RAM
Uppers: Nice quasi-3D visuals
Downers: Bit of a "junior" feel
Overall: 82% - Spud C Nesbit!
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