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Tom Thumb

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Released: 1986

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4

Publisher: Anirog

Developer: Kingsoft / Udo Gertz

Submitted by: Barry Lendrum

If there's ever a game that could make the humble C16 feel like a TARDIS, then this is it.

As soon as the game loads, you are greeted with little Tom rising up to his starting position to a short ditty which atmospherically repeats itself at various intervals throughout the game, which I found quite refreshing.

The graphics are large and colourful and the screen scrolls along in all directions as beautifully quick as possible. The controls are responsive enough and there are 2 speed settings for Tom, walk and run. This is crucial for avoiding the many hazards.

The objective is to locate all the treasure chests inside the great pyramid by finding the keys strategically placed behind many hazards. These keys open the locked doors to continue on with the game. Along the way you will encounter treasure boxes which are worth 500 gold to Tom, but only points for us. Aww!

The caverns though hold many creatures and obstacles determined to stop brave Tom from fulfilling his quest. Fortunately there are springs to bounce on and ladders to climb to make things easier.

So find the keys, unlock the doors, avoid the nasties and the hazards. Oh and make sure you grab all those treasure chests along the way too, otherwise what was the point in sending poor Tom out on a great perilous quest in the first place?

Anyway in a nutshell, this game is one of those rare occurrences on the C16 which makes you realise just how under-utilized the machine actually was. The 178 screen playing area is so huge that I would've expected this more achievable only on the Plus4, but it's all within 12k.

You can also continue from the last door after game over which is handy for a game this size, even the most ardent gamers will still find this a tough challenge through one sitting though. But the difficulty level I feel is just right.

Anyway this is still regarded as one of the greatest titles released on the C16, and one of the few titles which absolutely murders it's C64 version counterpart on every single level.

You can watch the full longplay video HERE!