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Tutti Frutti

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Released: 1985

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4

Publisher: Mastertronic

Developer: Shaun Southern / Mr Chip Software

Submitted by: Clarance Frank

Another Shaun Southern game on the C16, and yet another Mastertronic 1.99 classic. ‘Tutti Frutti’ is a brilliant ‘Mr. Do!’ clone. Colourful graphics, cute characters, and marvellous gameplay, which along with that tune will mesmerise you into some kind of gaming utopia… maybe…

This doesn’t attempt to be a close conversion of ‘Mr.Do!’, what it does instead is take the main essence of it, strip it down to basics and then sprinkle elements of other similar arcade classics into the mix for fun. It’s more of a homage by Southern to that general arcade genre I suppose.

Just like ‘Mr. Do!’, the basic aim of the game is to dig tunnels around the screen, collecting cherries and pushing apples, while at the same time avoiding (or killing) a gang of adversaries. And just like ‘Mr. Do!’ there’s a great tune constantly playing in the background. The character of ‘Mr. Do!’ Has been replaced by ‘Super Strawberry’, and his opponents are now the ‘Acid Apples’, but the power-ball is still there to be used against them… Each screen (there are six different ones) requires a slightly different method to achieve success. Some need all the cherries to be eaten to continue onwards, while others require all the apples to be cleared to the bottom of the screen to move to the next pattern, and further patterns require you to push blocks of fruit into the acid apples, killing them all to succeed. The attract screen is also worth a mention, the characters from the game are displayed on screen, and after a short while, as the theme tune plays over the top, the various levels are displayed, switching in time with the music from one to another, a clever little piece of programming that always impressed me.

The game doesn’t present much of a challenge, and it’s relatively simple to cycle around the levels a few times, racking up high scores on the way. None of the complexities of the original arcade ‘Mr. Do!’ are present, but that doesn’t mean that ‘Tutti Frutti’ isn’t without charm. Its simplicity is its strong point – Just play and enjoy.