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Released: 1985

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Romantic Robot

Developer: Romantic Robot

Submitted by: Ian Marks

Romantic Robot are more famous for their Multiface adaptor for the Spectrum. You just pushed a button and it dumped the ZX’s memory to a tape or micro-drive. How cool is that…. I never owned one, I had to resort to twin tape ghetto blasters for my ‘back ups’….

I did have Wriggler though by the Robot team and it was great. It would be ironic if I’d owned a ‘backup’ of the original game, but I do believe I owned the actual copy. Well done me….

In Wriggler you played a worm, and you were racing other worms through a garden (that apparently is what worms do all day). You knew it was a race because it was started by an ant with a pistol (obviously). At the start there were four worms who all looked the same racing each other, but once you got out into the wider garden there were loads and loads of them. At least they’re good for the soil.

I think the objective was to get to a finish point first, but my memory is pretty vague here, so I could be wrong. I remember that if you touched the ants or spiders then you lost energy, which could only be got back by drinking from milk bottles and cocktails??? that had been left in the garden.

What made Wriggler stand out was the quality of the graphics. The titular worm was wonderfully animated, as were all his insect adversaries. Also the detail of the garden itself had a touch of graphical class about it. Filled with strange plants, vegetables and even scarecrows, there was always something to keep you interested.

I think the best bit was the novelty… how many games do you get to play a worm in? There’s one called ‘Fat Worm Blows a Sparky’, but I don’t actually know what that game is about. If anyone knows of any others then I’d be interested to hear what they are.

I never won the race, I don’t think I even got to the finish line, but I had a damn good time trying. If you’ve never played it then emulate it now… it’s worth it just for the starting judge ant, there’s not many games that begin in such an original and charming way!