|Review by Joe Santulli||John Dondzila||Arcade|
The lovable Q*Bert descendant from GCEs Vectrex game Spike is back again, thanks to yet another fabulous offering from John Dondzila, who has kept the Vectrex alive for another year! As you may recall, Spike is the guy who was trying to save Molly from the clutches of his arch-nemesis Spud. It was the only Vectrex game to feature voice synthesis (there wasnt much but it was still pretty neat). Spike returned in Dondzilas 1997 release All Good Things, where in Spikes Water Balloons he was up against Spuds mischief once again.
A year has passed, and Spike and Spud are still at it! Finally, he shows up in a game that was really meant for him - a Q*Bert clone called Spike Hoppin. Dondzila has reached the logical "next stage" for the Vectrex hero, simulating most of the characters from Q*Bert: theres Spud, who replaces Coily, an hourglass replaces the green ball, the discs are there for a quick ride to the top (although Spud doesnt have to chase you there - hoppin on a disc automatically knocks him off the pyramid), and even the sideways-jumping enemies make an appearance after several stages.
The game plays great on the Vectrex, where instead of color changes the pyramid triangles dim out when you land on them. Dim them all and its off to the next stage. Controls respond well, something that could have easily gone wrong in a game where everything moves on a 45 degree angle. To add to the games value, theres a hidden game of Centipede and an alternate opening screen (Ive hidden these codes somewhere in this issue... heh, heh).
I cant credit Mr. Dondzila enough. Keep the Vectrex alive! You can purchase a copy of Spike Hoppin' for $20.00, which includes shipping. Canadian orders add $3.00 for postage, European orders add $4.00 for postage. For ordering and availability info, Email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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