Monday, June 18, 2018

Rolling Ronny

A wheelie good platformer

This is an attractive platformer developed by Carsten Neubauer of Bones Park and published by Virgin Games in 1991. Before I begin, we're not using our feet as this is a rolling platformer - because we're on skates! This is in the quiet town of Fieldington, a lovely place that has just suffered the theft of its crown jewels. I know, I know...

Fortunately, the gang of bumbling thieves were thankfully disturbed but they still had the time to hide each jewel inside glittering boxes and scatter them about the town before fleeing. Why? I don't know but Scotland Yard then decided it was a good idea to enlist Ronny as their secret agent to recover the stolen jewels in return for a generous reward.

Ronny uses his skates to get around this oddball town but he can still climb ladders and leap across most platform gaps. He will need every ounce of agility to avoid and kill the nasties that lurk here. And there are a number of silly creatures so defend yourself by hitting the fire button to fling your supply of killer salamis. Yes, you heard me correctly!

This is starting to sound rather unbelievable, right? Well, I think we need a screenshot then...

Ronny needs to watch out for various nasties, even those cute little birdies!

Run, Jump and Kill

Any platformer needs decent controls and thankfully, these are responsive and allow Ronny to leap from ledge to ledge but, as usual, reaching for the function keys to activate a gadget is a bit of a pain. The status panel displays various pieces of information: love hearts indicate health, a clock is counting down, the number of remaining jewels, and the gadgets enabled. Along the way, you can be stopped to run errands for extra credit. This is an excellent way to top up your earnings.

Ronny's inventory is his four spare pockets to store cool gadgets - which are essentially power-ups. These provide a variety of functions like a Super Jump or the Magnet which attracts any out-of-reach items. There is a massive range of different power-ups and I really like Power Sneeze!! Coins can be collected to spend in the town's shop. However, be wise and leave enough cash for your bus fare which is the method you take to play the following level. How very odd!

I love it when a platformer like this actually comes with gameplay that matches the aesthetics perfectly! The controls are a joy and complemented by interesting ideas and amusing mechanics. Simple, and it works. Why didn't I know about Rolling Ronny back in the day? I missed this one and I'm gutted about that!

Right then, let's take a little break for another colourful screenshot with our red-nosed fella on skates...

This jump across the water looks tricky! Surely, I can make it in one?

16-bit Sex Appeal

The visuals are fantastic with superb cartoon quality, comical sprites and very smooth scrolling. It's obvious that colour is a big deal because of the richly decorated backgrounds, even the title screen is a stunning Spectrum 512 image. I believe this was Bones Park's only Atari ST game and they should be proud of their achievement.

The audio is nice with a sweet title tune (that I can't get out of my head) all thanks to Adrian Dalecki. The neat sound effects are accompanied by an obsessive tune that manages to get my foot tapping. No complaints from me!!

And on that note, let's view the final screenshot...

Hang on a moment, there's an actual droplet of water chasing me? Or is it a ghost lol

The CryptO'pinion?

As platformers go, Rolling Ronny doesn't exactly break the mould but the addition of a skating clown is a rather odd idea that works (even if he has mad hair - well, just look at the hideous barnet - lol - brilliant). There are a few niggles which I didn't care for, the most irritating is failing to collect enough cash for the bus fare. I hate that as I've done it many times!!

However, there is something about this quirky and extremely entertaining game that I love. It's so much fun - for all the family - whilst offering a challenge that keeps you coming back for more. This ain't no lame Amiga port, it's obvious that a lot of love went into making Rolling Ronny. One of the best platformers for the Atari ST. Yes, I actually said that.

Floppy & hard disk versions from Klaz!


  1. These are all good games I am going to make them all available as a virtual hard drive on the Gotek HXC drive I do believe that they will all fit on a 32.5 MB drive eh? Russ Campbell

    1. All? Which games Russ? Depends on their size but you should get a few dozen games onto your partition. I use an Ultrasatan for hdd games you see, not Gotek.


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