Next, as part of the Story So Far vol. 2 compilation is Hoppin' Mad. An original concept which had to be included really because the rest of the compilation was either based on coin-op conversions or else they were clones. Bring honest here, I'm not entirely sure what inspired this one. First thing that springs to mind would be a group of students and a cannabis over indulgance and this was the end result. But i'm not even gonna try to tap into the mind of those responsible for whats up and coming. Original concepts are usually the brainchild of someones twisted mind anyway, and many have proven to be pretty successful (Tetris is a classic example of this). Is Hoppin' Mad up to the mark? Won't be long before TACGR opens the lid and exposes whats inside.
Forest Jaunt - Avoid the hedgehog
Oh, I do like to be be...bleugh
Like most of original, non-licenced games, the object of the game is pretty simplistic. You are given control of four bouncing balls which you have to guide across a horizontally scrolling platform. OK, sounds pretty painless. Things to avoid would be the likes of snails, porcupines, rocks, etc. Pretty straightforward considering the likes of anything Monty Mole was involved in, dodging the teapots and boxing gloves of doom! So we're off to a pretty regular start. Now me personally I would have expected to be many levels in a game like this, but apparently it just seems to be four levels that repeat themselves at a greater difficulty. The only way to advance a level is to collect ten baloons. Not exactly one to keep you interested for a long time.
Loading time for disk users, not a bother as It'll be in a matter of seconds, but tape user have to suffer the brunt of the usual Elite block loader so fix yourself a drink and a sandwich and then return, you'll know the game is up and running because of the torture your speaker tries to inflict on you! And the tune actually gets progressively worse! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it actually possible! Be thankful that it wasn't incorporated as in-game music too! Graphically it's bad to say the least. It's a Speccy port and a terrible one at that. The colour combination looks like someone had a bad pint at the local and this was the consequence. Scrolling is smooth but not enough to last, and controlling is just about done but you'll be lucky if you can get to the end of the level with all your balls left (excuse the pun!)
Elite have come up with some pretty decent games in the past, so it makes you wonder what in heavens name went wrong with this one? And they stuck this on a compilation along with Beyond The Ice Palace and Space Harrier? I mean, who thought of that bright idea? Basically this is one that you will put in your CPC when you feel mean and you want to make somebody else suffer because I didn't find much in the way of entertainment in this. Although I reckon Elite copped on as I never saw any more games from them With Neil Latarche and Lizzie's name on it since this release. Recommendation to avoid like your grannies annual visit at Christmas dinner.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Who designed the colour scheme?
Very wonky and wobbly theme tune.
Awkward control of the balls.
THE END RESULT: 47%