DIZZY IS BACK! *tumbleweed* THE FIRST GAMEPLAY TRAILER IS IN *bell tolls in the distance* Right, everyone put down what you're doing - we need to have a little chat. I know that few people outside the UK ever really got to play Dizzy games and I know that his reign as platform king was cut brutally short by Mario and Sonic. And that his entire series could have been and gone before some of our readers were even born. I also know you think you don't care, but you should. Watch the retro-tinged reveal trailer here then I'll try to convince you why this is a great day for gaming. Wish me luck.
So it seems that the game is a reworked version of 'Prince of the Yolkfolk' and not an entirely new game. But that's OK, if it does well I'm sure Codies will make a brand new adventure. It looks good too, and the art style fits iOS nicely.
Above: There he is, with new touchscreen controls (in an interesting layout). And still super-cute
Still think it looks like any other iPhone game? OK, class, eyes on the board if you please:
So what if his adventurer's hat wasn't even possible to render on his home system, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum? Dizzy's adventures took him through all kinds of mystical lands, where he stole eggs from fire-breathing dragons in damp caves, planted a beanstalk and climbed it up to a castle in the sky. Imagination was king in the 1980s and we miss the feeling of awe that accompanied games like Dizzy. It's modern equivalent is probably Skyrim.
Above: Pure excitement in loading screen form. Do check out Matt's celebration of C64 loading screens
Dizzy wears boxing gloves on his hands, yet NEVER uses them to hit people. Instead, he runs fetch/carry errands for them, defeats enemies by giving them birdseed or throwing them a joint of meat… his world is universally entertaining. That said, I do own Prince of the Yolkfolk on GameGear and find its style a little more kiddified than the older Spectrum originals, which appealed to my 8-year-old self without being overtly saccharine. I'd love to see Treasure Island Dizzy on iOS, but retaining the atmosphere of the spooky-feeling original. Fingers crossed...
Above: Another new shot. Yes, it's the Grim Reaper. But he's saying 'bless me bones'. And you're standing on his robes and grinning like an idiot. There's nothing offensive here
It's not often I would use the word 'quaint' to describe something, but that's how I'd describe Dizzy. Just look at this plot outline for Treasure Island Dizzy and tell me it's not awesome:
Dizzy was looking forward to the round-the-world cruise. When he told the other yolkfolk about the good deal he found, they wondered just what lay ahead of him.
Dizzy enjoyed the cruise at first- The captain, Long John Silver, was a lovely old bloke with a kindly manner, good at insulting and degrading the fare-paying punters. He was well balanced - he had parrot on one shoulder and a chip on the other.
Dizzy thought he would organize a game of cricket on the aft deck. In a fit of blinding stupidity he used LJ's spare leg collection as makeshift stumps, and when they were lost overboard he was made to walk the plank!
That was how he came to find himself gently poaching on the silent, sun-kissed beach of a seemingly deserted island. He had to somehow find a way off the island, back to the Yolkfolk and to lodge his compensation claim with the travel agent.
You'll notice I'm not using loads of egg-related puns in this article. Why? Because they're horrible. But also, Dizzy wasn't really about egg puns. There are some, sure, but the fact he is an egg doesn't really alter the core experience of platforming and collecting/using items.
Above: Oh, very clever! See? You don't need egg jokes to be funny in a game about an egg
Who could forget Weird Henge? Or the snap-happy croc in the castle moat? Or the treehouse village? Not me, that's for sure - which is why I spent hours and hours creating a Dizzy-themed track in ModNation Racers on PS3 a while ago...
Dizzy's adventures may not be the 100+ hour outings of modern RPGs, but they drip-feed success over days and even weeks. Who could forget the moment they triggered the gravestone in Treasure Island, or jumped out of the window onto the cloud in Fantasy World? Rules are there to be broken and exploration yields massive rewards.
Above: It's some 25 years old, but you might play this one day so I won't give it away
Unlike Sonic's ragtag collection of acquaintances, Dizzy's friends and family are likeable. Who could hate Dylan, the stoned-looking hippy egg? Or Denzil, the 'cool dude' of the Yolkfolk family, complete with headphones and shades? Then, of course, there's Daisy, giving us a damsel in distress to save from an evil tyrant's castle years before Mario stole the Yolkfolk's thunder. And who could forget Pogie the Fluffle? What? YOU FORGOT ABOUT POGIE?!
Above: Well, mostly not completely hateful... *cough*
Seriously, though, it's a great day for gaming. Although we do feel a little sorry for the guys over at the Yolkfolk Forums who now have no need for their online petition to bring back Dizzy. And their arms must be very painful from all the pinching. No matter, we still believe.
Above: The game is coming out on iPhone, iPad and Android on December 9th. Bring it on, Dizzy!
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