Sunday, December 18, 2016

Potsworth & Co

Here we have a cute platformer released in 1992 by Hi-Tec Software, based on an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon (which I'd never heard off until today). Okay, so I've learned that Potsworth is a dog who happens to have a group of kiddy friends called The Midnight Patrol. Well, someone has stolen a sleep potion and conveniently placed the pieces within five silly worlds. So, now it's up to these kids to return it to the Grand Dozer, whatever that is!!

This means we get to be each of these kiddy characters from the tv show. First up is a rather stroppy looking girl who's adventure oddly places her underground in a place that reminds me of Rick Dangerous.

Ahh... when developers go that extra mile. No lame port here!!

There is a wide range of baddies that aimlessly walk back and forth doing their best to make life troublesome but it appears our heroine only has to open her mouth to kill (most of) them. You'll get used to this... It's a typical platformer in most respects but with the twist of changing character for each new level. Which is shockingly cool.

There are lots of puzzles to solve but don't worry too much because rocket scientists need not apply. These simple puzzles might require dropping a heavy block (or teddy bear!) onto a switch... but they always add a spark of interest to your adventure. Each new level has us changing character and I especially enjoyed the third - we're a dog in candy land as this is bursting with cool mechanics and is positively interesting to explore.

Another level and we're another character from the cartoon!

The one thing which remains a constant throughout is the superb controls that are precise, responsive and without lag. The visuals are truly superb with fantastic locations, awesome sprites, and loads of colour with scrolling that is both fast and fluent. Audio is sadly the mirror opposite and appears to be nothing more than an afterthought with only a few spot effects and no background chiptune. The theme tune is even worse and should be skipped as quickly as is possible, just like in Alien World which is another humongous audio disaster!!

So, ignoring the audio, what didn't I like about this amazing platformer? Well, more lives would have been a bonus. Especially when learning the game's cruel nature and finicky jumps. There's not an awful lot to moan about.

Each level is different and gets progressively harder too!

There might be a few frustrating quirks but I feel Potsworth & Co is one of the best platformers I've played on any computer and is also a testament to the power of the Atari ST. Get ready for an incredible venture through immensely interesting worlds and I'm sure all platformer fans will love this hidden GEM as much as I have. Superb game!

Play this cracker using floppy disk or hard drive.

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