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Blinky's Scary School

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Released: 1990

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Zeppelin Games Ltd

Developer: Jimmy Parr, David Taylor

Submitted by: Ewen Kirk

Drumtrochie Castle was haunted. Ancestral ghosts had wandered it's halls for years…moaning and groaning, rattling chains, all the usual stuff…They had a rare old time of it..

All that is, until Red Laird McTavish decided he'd had enough! "Och! It's ma castle, and nae ghosties or ghoulies or long-leggity beasties are going tae spoil ma legendary Haggis Banquets!" he thought to himself. So he decided to take up ghost-hunting and rid Drumtrochie of every last spooky spectre.

Exactly 100 years have passed since he did just that, and the Head Spectre at the Ghost School has decided that Red's descendant, Hamish, has bragged about his ancestor's antics once too often. And no castle should be without some spooks to scare things up a bit…

And so he sends star pupil Blinky out on his first assignment..to recapture the castle for haunting! Blinky has only one night to succeed in this or he faces another 100 years at scare school! Truly a fate worse than death! It is up to the player then, to help our chum to accomplish his task and put the wind up Hamish's kilt!

Blinky certainly lives up to his name, fluttering his eyes as you bounce along the platforms trying to round up ingredients for a magic potion. These are scattered throughout the mansion, which although devoid of spooks has a nasty collection of rats, bats, insects,etc..all of which seem to be out to get poor Blinky! The old place is also in a bit of a state and pieces of it keep tumbling down, making it even trickier for our hero to travel unscathed…

Bouncing around on the platforms can be a bit annoying sometimes too, as you'll occasionally clip the edge of one, which sends you bouncing off in a different direction from which you intended..sometimes landing you in one of the castles many spikey trap pits! A bit of practice soon fixes this though, and before long you'll be zipping about over battlements and down the loos!

Oh yes…did I forget to mention those? Another way to traipse about is via the toilet-warps, which will flush you away to another part of the castle! You have to make sure you have enough bog paper though…..I suppose Blinky needs to wrap himself insomething so he doesn't end up as a poopy poltergeist!

It's the little touches in Blinky that really make it stand out from the crowd a bit….the aforementioned eye-fluttering, the bits when you go into a dark room and can only see his eyes, the toilets…all of these give it a certain charm. The sound is a bit functional, but there's a nice tinkly tune on the title screen that sets it up nicely as a cutesy adventure. 

Ultimately, I found our pale little pal a lot of fun to hang around with..the game has a definite one-more-go quality. Blinky gets his A+ from me at least….