The Gaspars were a peaceful and prosperous race, watched over by the magical family Carikens. Sadly, the family neglected their magic and the Kingdom began to fall to pieces. That's when the evil druid Maldur decided to move in and massacre the family. Only one child survived and it's down to him to collect the 23 parts of the magic amulet that have been scattered throughout the land to prevent the family Carikens from rising again. But we can't have evil triumphing over good, can we? So, you'll have to take on the persona of Ulopa, the last of the Carikens, and ensure you collect all the parts thereby defeating Maldur.
It's an arcade adventure from French programmers Blue Byte with its roots in Super Mario Bros. The 23 levels each have an upper and lower level (world) and the player can easily get from one world to the other by going through the cavern mouths on the levels. Getting from one level to the other, though, involves running around and collecting the pieces of amulet and then finding the level exit (identifiable by the symbol above the door).
Maldur is none too keen on the idea of you running about trying to ruin his fun, though, so he's infested the levels with all manner of flying, walking and crawling nasties that all remove one of your six lives on contact. To combat them you're armed with three types of ball shots of varying strengths and properties (one of them bounces) which you can fire. Destroying the monsters also causes them to leave behind caches of more ammunition which is jolly handy.
There are other bonuses that come in useful during the game including a parachute which allows you to fall off high platforms without injury and springs which are very helpful for when you want that bit of extra spring to leap over a particularly high wall. These extras are activated simply by hitting a key. Run about finding the bits of amulet, take on the big monster every fourth level and try to find a way into the treasure rooms for extra points: and there you have it.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The main sprite is great: neat touches like him skidding when he swiftly changes direction for exam pie all add to the effect. The rest of the graphics are colourful and well drawn and everything is well animated. The in-game tune is fine, as are the effects, but neither of them are outstanding. Altogether a very cute-looking game.
Platforms and ladders, running around collecting things, different worlds - they're all old hat nowadays, but when the game's as well put together as this one is it's easy to see why the formula became such a hit. Great fun, highly playable and addictive too.
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