My Head is Spinning…

Was there a toy or thing you always wanted as a child, during the holidays or on your birthday, but never received? Tell us about it.

Hmm,  tricky. The only one I can think of is the original 8 Bit NES console when I was younger. I loved computer games and in some sense was a bit of a dinosaur as I had the old Commodore 64 which I spent many a happy hour playing on. My favourite games were the puzzle platform games such as Dizzy, Seymour and Biff.

Magicland_Dizzy_-_1990_-_Codemasters

The Dizzy games, like a fair few British children, were a favourite staple of my gaming as a Child . The games were usually narrative based and involved the title character usually engaged on some variety of quest and you would have to solve a series of puzzles and avoid various traps and nasties upon your quest. The character of Dizzy was an Egg who was a member of a tribe called the Yolkfolk and the games usually involved rescuing one or more of the tribe from the clutches of the games recurring villain, the Evil Wizard Zaks. Due to the combination of character interaction, puzzles and platform challenges the games were a big hit with kids in the UK and I know I always felt a little disappointed when a Dizzy game turned out to be a basic arcade game or a Pac Man variant. The most disappointing for me was a game called Dizzy Panic which essentially was a computer version of putting the the correct shape in the correct hole, the principal being you got four in together and you’d create a toy. Looking back at it now I realise it was an attempt to do a variation on Tetris and perhaps was unfairly dismissed at the time, but I feel it was still shoehorned into the Dizzy brand to boost sales.

There was an attempt to launch the series onto the game consoles which were beginning to dominate the market with the Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy which was pretty much an amalgamation of the best parts of the previous games with a few bonus games thrown in for good measure. However, it lacked the character interaction of the main games and I think it suffer a little there. Over the years since the Dizzy fanbase grew older a tribute website has popped up which features a variety of fan made games with copyright preventing the inclusion of the original games. However a lot of information about the games is held on the website and the interest has sparked some good: Treasure Island Dizzy is available to be played online on the official Codemaster’s website and a version  of Prince of the Yolk folk has been programmed for Smartphones and is available from the Google Play store.  The website can be found at http://www.yolkfolk.com

In the end I got the next step up on the console front with the Super Nintendo which was a 16 bit console and I spent many a happy hour on that. I must admit though aside from the Legend of Zelda games, I was disappointed in the lack of puzzle games available; they were usually fighting games, racing games or standard platformers. It was only once the PC and Mac became gaming platforms that the puzzle game began to take off again….

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2 thoughts on “My Head is Spinning…

  1. My favourites were Kuonis rift and later Wizzball (I think that was then the Amiga). Ok, I borrowed it all from my son as I was then progressing to the age when mothers do not play games on computers, but cook, wash and hoover. I had to wait until the evening to get to the computer.

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