Thursday, April 06, 2017

Clod Hopper

Big feet, big... shoes!

Clod Hopper was released through the Budgie UK label back in 1992 by scener Goth, aka Gary Wheaton. It's a platformer that features a fella called Bill who's in search of his girlfriend. She foolishly wandered off into the nearby plutonium mines which are inhabited by crazy creatures, numerous whacky puzzles and dangerous hazards. Women, uh? Luckily, she left a convenient trail of footprints which we can use to track down our beloved. And save the day, of course!

Bounty Bob fans will love this game: each screen contains platforms that need walking over before we can exit and progress deeper into the mine. Anyhow, this isn't as easy as it sounds thanks to tricky level designs and cunning puzzle elements - and these often need completing in a particular order. Watch out for those slippery slides, dangerous falls, and the nasty inhabitants who seem to love getting underfoot. Thankfully, there are magical items we can collect that will render these creatures defenceless, if only for a short period of time (so think tactical before picking them up)

The third level features working machinery, necessary to operate to help you clear the level. It's a fascinating concept and that works well but I doubt I'll ever see the fourth... Sadly, as with many older games, there is a time limit so don't dawdle for too long as Bill has about five minutes of air supply. I must admit, I hate them but this time limit is decent.

I would have loved to have shown you many more screenshots but Clod Hopper is a tough cookie alright. I managed to get onto the third level - which is a killer. I know how to complete it but there are many slides and ... just ... one ... wrong ... move!! ARGHHHHH this platformer is incredibly tough. But I'm blaming my wonky joystick! Ahem.

On that note, let's see some screenshots of this Bounty Bob platformer...

Level one breaks you in gently to paint those platforms with your feet...

The second level is far trickier and needs to be completed in the correct order.

The devilish third level. I know how to complete it but my skills deny me the pleasure!

Looks and Sounds?

Graphically, I really admire Clod Hopper. The look and design are reminiscent of those early 8-bit days and this style works very well. Plus everything moves as smooth as silk with a console-like feel with awesome animations. The level designs took me right back to when I was a kid and without looking like a cheap or tacky ripoff. A superb 8-bit vibe throughout.

Along with the 8-bit feel and smooth performance, Gary uses overscan for the score/timer display!!

As for the audio, well, brace yourself. Music is absolutely beautiful using an Atari-Console quality that I loved. The effects are great, from the raspy level intro to all the other in-game sounds. A lot of effort went into how this game sounds!

Do you want more screenshots? How about a video recording and screenshots? Here ya' go then...

Check out this intro!

Can you make the hi-score table? Not on your first go, you won't lol

Would you believe it? Gary only lives up the road from me...

The CryptO'pinion?

Wow, have I enjoyed this playing this olde platformer!! Of course, it will appeal to fans of Bounty Bob and indeed any console owner from the early/mid-80s because this quality platformer is reminiscent of the era for gameplay, sounds and visuals. The effort and dedication that's gone into this game shine through, to think it wasn't commercial. Outstanding stuff.

However, there's always something to moan about, and my only gripe is the measly three lives - which aren't enough for such a challenging game. A game this tough needed many more because it's so damn difficult. I managed to reach level three but those slides are insanely tricky - one wrong move and there's no way back up again.

Having said that, this is a brilliant platformer and a freakishly outstanding old-school romp. Oh yeah, I loved it!!



  1. Replies
    1. I think you'll appreciate this :)
      Be warned - HARDER than MM by far after the initial screens!