Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Crash Time Plumber

I first previewed Crash Time Plumber here on AtariCrypt a few days ago but I didn't get the time for a full review because I was suffering the dreaded Man Flu. Ask any guy - there is literally nothing worse! Thankfully, I've since recovered and had plenty of time for this beautifully frustrating platformer which was released only days ago at the Silly Venture demo party.

This is a conversion of the Gamopat original with the Atari game developed by Sebastien Lucas of Cerebral Vortex and it works on any computer with a Blitter Chip. Set at in 1983, a certain (annoying) Italian plumber has teamed up with an angry looking Donkey Kong and kidnapped ten gaming heroes right before the crash of the video gaming industry. Pac-Man, Pitfall Harry, Q-Bert, Frogger, and many others are preparing themselves for a hideous death at the hands of these criminals. So be quick to rescue them all and foil Mario's plan for an invasion two years later - it's all on you to save the gaming industry from its historic fate!

When I first loaded it up, I wasn't sure what to expect but boy what an authentic 8-bit experience with great gameplay based on Donkey Kong, with a hefty dollop of Popeye. Taking place on the expected construction site, you will need to collect love hearts given by a damsel in distress as she floats by in her hot air balloon. Only then can you begin a steroid-jumping rescue to the trapped hero at the top of the screen. However, this won't be easy because Mario is rolling deadly barrels with King Kong hanging about and throwing killer bananas your way. You only have 120 seconds to collect all the hearts, whilst dodging both the barrels and bananas, and the required number of hearts increases with each completed level. To make matters even worse, weather conditions frequently feature and will seriously affect your speed and movements. There might only be ten screens but it won't be long before you realise that this is more than enough - level one tricks you into thinking this is going to be easy, however, you soon realise this game is a wolf in sheep's clothing! It is hard - very hard. But it's also great fun and extremely addictive with that 'one more go' factor. In fact, Crash Time Plumber is one of the most addictive games I have played in a while and, no matter how many times I died, I kept on coming back for more. (What a sucker!)

The graphics are superbly retro and suit the theme perfectly. I simply love the sprites and the Blitter helps to produce a beautifully smooth 50fps display with enhanced colour fading on the Atari STe and the Falcon sees a huge Zeppelin flying by. Audio works perfectly with cool sound effects and a great chiptune totally suited to the olde styles. Yes, this humble game has it all and I've spent several hours trying to get past level 5 but one wrongly mistimed barrel jump halts my progress. Still, that's better than being smacked in the face by a flying banana! Apparently, there is a funny Cinematic ending but I doubt I'll be seeing it anytime soon if I'm brutally honest... Crash Time Plumber is incredibly awesome and I compliment Sebastien who has done an outstanding conversion. A truly brilliant game.

LINKS

 - A download is available from the best #demoscene website there is, Demozoo. (both floppy + hdd included)
 - The mighty AtariMania feature this great game within their ST database website. (about time Marko!) :p
 - I simply had to record a quick video of my extreme gaming frustration - but I loved every minute of it!
 - Lots more Atari goodies were released at Silly Venture 2016.
 - All but the oldest Atari STs come with a Blitter (except the TT of course). However, I believe the old STs (1987 onwards) have an empty socket so grab £20+ and head over the Exxos Webstore and buy yourself a Blitter Chip!
 - I now need a cheat for infinite lives or credits. Can anyone heeeeelp? LOL