What was it selling? 7-Up. Though you wouldn’t necessarily know it in Europe, as Spot didn’t become a mascot over here. He just sat on the bottles, in faceless, silent vigil, as we swigged down his fizzy lemon-lime sugar water not even knowing he was there. Must have been Hell. Instead we got Fido Dido, a very ‘90s line-drawn cartoon character famous for not really doing anything apart from appear on notepads and pencil cases.
Why was it good? Because it was a proper game, by a proper developer. Cool Spot was designed by Dave Perry, working at Virgin Interactive at the time. Although not his best work, it did sow the seeds of the game mechanics and tropes that would become his signature during the 16-bit era. Gorgeous, colourful, expansive levels with loads of explorable verticality, and ultra-smooth, beautifully fluid character animation. Plus, he created the ability to grab ledges and climb up onto them, rather than having to make a perfect jump every time. From Aladdin, to The Lion King, to Earthworm Jim, Perry evolved this stuff into a killer formula.