Thursday, April 06, 2017

Clod Hopper

A game for those with big feet?

Clod Hopper was released through the Budgie UK label back in 1992 by scener Goth, aka Gary Wheaton. It stars a fella called Bill that's in search of his girlfriend who 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 so venture forth to rescue our beloved and save the day.

Bounty Bob fans will love this: 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. Some rooms will feature working machinery, often necessary to operate to help you clear the level, a fascinating concept that works well. However, you shouldn't dawdle because Bill only has about five minutes of air supply in each room - before he suffers a cruel choking death. Yes, it's tough but so addictive!!

Paint those platforms with your feet and enjoy the slides while you're there!

Looks and Sounds?

Graphically, I really REALLY like Clod Hopper. The look and design are reminiscent of those early 8-bit days and it works so well but it's also as smooth as silk with console-like movement and animation. The level designs took me right back to when I was a kid but it never looks cheap and tacky. A brilliant 8-bit feel throughout.

The same applies to the audio with superb chip music and wonderful raspy sound effects used on each screen. To think Gary Wheaton designed everything you see, hear and play is quite incredible and I personally think he was going for a style similar to the Atari 2600/5200. He certainly got the best results out of the YM2149!

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

The CryptO'pinion?

I've enjoyed this oldskool romp and I think it'll appeal to fans of Bounty Bob and indeed any console owner from the early/mid-80s. This is a quality platformer both in gameplay and programming because it's so smooth. My only gripe is the measly three lives which aren't enough for such an incredibly challenging game.

If ever there was a game that needed some kind soul from the ST world to hack at it for extra lives. Well, this is it. Brilliant game, absolutely brilliant in every respect but why only three lives? Come on!! Anyhow, having said that, Clod Hopper is a freakishly outstanding old skool platformer and I love it to bits. If only I was better at it...



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