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Date Posted: 20:07:19 01/11/08 Fri
Author: Darryl B.
Subject: Re: Spike 7/10
In reply to: -- 's message, "Spike" on 09:10:10 12/10/99 Fri

Spike had two major things going for it when it was released: one, it was a pseudo 3-D platformer in the vein of Donkey Kong (can't think of many games that were like that), and two, it had voice synthesis, something the Vectrex was not built for originally.

In this game, Spike must rescue his girlfriend Molly from his enemy Spud. You start the game off by just getting used to the environment by running along moving platforms and jumping. Placing a ladder so you can advance up or down a platform is weird, since the ladder just magically appears (somehow) on a platform on the screen at the press of a button. Grab a key and jump up to Molly's cage to free her, and then it all starts all over again.

Of course, it doesn't stay that easy, as a springy creature appears and floats throughout the screen; Spike can either avoid it or kick it. A bird will also appear later as well, which is bigger and more difficult to avoid, especially when it drops down to the previous platform once it reaches the edge of the screen and the platforms move faster. Occasionally Molly's bow will appear and it will freeze the screen for several seconds if you can catch it, but it won't be long until the blasted key starts dropping from platform to platform too, which doesn't make things any easier either.

The controls respond pretty decently, although using buttons to kick left and another to kick right, along with jumping and positioning the ladder and cage can get confusing at times. Sounds are ok and the speech samples are very funny, due to sounding like pieced-together voicemail nowadays.

I'm rating this game as to how it was from back in the day; if compared to anything today, it's rating would probably drop a point, at least, since it gets repetitive. Still it was a pretty bold attempt at a new angle on a very copied game theme from back then (Donkey Kong, I mean).

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