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Fridge Frenzy

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Released: 1985

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Bug Byte

Developer: Karl Hampson / Andy Fairhurst

Submitted by: Lee Tatlock

One of my favourite games from Bug Byte (along with Manic Miner of course) was Fridge Frenzy, this game is class. You play the part of a big nosed bug, presumably a cockroach or something, locked in a fridge you and must collect enough items to get to the next screen/shelf of the fridge. Each screen is named, something I miss in modern games, and lovingly crafted and fiendishly set out. You start in ‘The Main Fridge Entrance’ and must make your way through timed electric barriers and dodge all manner of frosty foes to get to the items that unlock the next stage. Enemies come in many shapes and sizes including bespectacled eggs, Manic Joysticks, crying onions and pointy icicles. To add to your problems you have a temperature gauge at the top of the screen that slowly counts down to cryostasis, which you don’t want.

Controls are tight but the game is a bit slower than most would probably like, however this, to me at any rate, means you can make more precise movements which is never a bad thing. You move in four directions, no diagonals allowed, and not much else. One side note to this game is that it’s extremely difficult, working out the most effective paths round the rooms may grate on a lot of peoples nerves, but then again this style of trial and error gaming was never going to be everyone’s bag.

Graphics are bold and colourful, however the animation is not massively complex but does its job well enough that you know what you’re playing against. Levels are fun and feature more quirks than you can shake a frozen chip at. All in all it may be slightly too typical and basic for a lot of retro gamers, especially the 16-bit kids, but if you where around at the time you may well appreciate this as much as I did and still do. Just prepare to get your butt whooped!