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Boffin

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Released: 1984

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: BBC Micro

Publisher: Addictive

Submitted by: Mat Corne

In this excellent platformer you are cast as a brainy professor that is trapped in a network of caves – so obviously not that brainy! To escape you must negotiate the platforms, collect all of the horseshoes and then touch a large owl to complete the level. Having written that, I’m starting to wonder what drugs the programmers of this game may have been on when they came up with this idea! Anyway, to assist you in your task you are armed with… an umbrella. Hmmm, not that useful you may think, but it can be used to help you safely fall long distances, hang off platforms and even collect items that would otherwise be out of reach.

Making use of one of the Beeb’s high-resolution graphics modes, Boffin has a rather psychedelic cyan and magenta colour scheme but shows off some great-looking and detailed sprites, the highlight of which is a massive spider that puts in a terrifying appearance on later levels. The levels themselves are fiendishly designed and in many cases require pinpoint accuracy in jumping and use of the brolly. Boffin is a tough game and there’s a steep learning curve even on the early levels, but once you get to grips with the control scheme and plan your progress before attempting each stage, it really is one of the finest platform games of it’s era.