The pages of 8 bit micro magazines might have enjoyed poking fun at the new wave of Japanese consoles in the early ’90s, but the unspoken truth was inescapable: as Simon Forrester told us, the Asian design sensibilities had an energy and weighting to them that we had never seen before. The games were fun. And deep down, every C64 owner wanted something a bit like Sonic.
When Hi-Tec first announced the cheekily titled Turbo The Tortoise, everyone thought it might be that game. The £3.99 reality, though, is somewhat different. Turbo isn’t really very fast (perhaps that’s a joke), but he does wander around an engaging, slickly presented platformer.
There is some kind of back story about a science experiment gone wrong and time machines, but what we basically have here is six levels of jumping, bopping enemies on the head, secret rooms and collecting fruit for bonus points. There are nice little subversive bits you don’t get in other platformers, like picking up blocks and chucking them down further up the landscape to help you cross a river or pit of fire (why is it always a pit of fire? – Ed). You start bottom left and the aim is to get to the far right of the scrolling landscape and beat the boss.
The graphics are great, with some beautiful parallax and loads of colour. And you can come back over and over, trying different routes for more points. So you’ll definitely want to play it through more than once. Which is a good thing, ‘cos the only letdown is that Turbo is over so soon. Great stuff. CF
CF SAID: “It’s class. Everything’s packed onto that few metres of tape.”
WE SAY: In a way, the glut of cheapy platformers in ’91/2 were a bit sad, ‘cos it was our beloved computer aping the consoles on half the power and even less money! But taken for what it is, Turbo is simple, colourful fun. A perfect budget game.
- Hi Tec went out of business shortly after the release of Turbo The Tortoise. The game was picked up and released again by Codemasters.