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Crash Dummies

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Released: 1994

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Game Gear

Publisher: Flying Edge / Acclaim

Developer: Software Creations

Submitted by: Matt Gander

Based on the 90s toy line, Crash Dummies was early proof that mini-game collections always fail to deliver the same compelling experience that you’d get from, say, an adventure game or RPG. Despite in interesting premises – being a crash dummy, on most missions the ultimate objective is to hurt yourself – this game has about as much depth as a puddle.

The first mission is probably the most entertaining out of the mere five games included and is as easy as falling off a log. Or rather, falling off a building. As an impromptu stuntman you’re being paid to leap off a building and crash into as many balconies and sunshades as possible before hitting the target at the bottom. It takes less than a minute to complete and is almost impossible to mess up. Next!

Mission two only takes around a minute too and takes the form of a top down driving game where the aim to collect air canisters to pump up an airbag and then crash into a wall. There are a few cracks in the road to avoid and some oil slicks but it’s not very challenging.

On the third mission the dummies take to the piste, which plays a bit like the free Windows game SkiFree. The aim here is to complete the course while hitting as many flags as possible. You can also crash into the innocent snowmen and send their heads spinning for a bonus.

Things start getting tougher on the fourth mission – the dummies get a job at a bomb factory and have to work on production line. Bombs that come out of production with their fuses lit need to be blown out. Miss one and the conveyor will stop working; missing two and its ‘Game Over’. On the GameGear’s small screen it’s quite hard to work out what bombs are lit and what aren’t. Gah!

For the final mission inspiration from Thrust has been taken – carefully manoeuvre a spaceship through space breaking targets. It’s a really tough level and you’ll need most of your five lives left to get through it.

And, well, that’s your lot. Once familiar with the game it can be beaten in less than fifteen minutes. I’d imagine that anybody who brought this back in 1994 would have felt pretty disappointed by how short and shallow it is. I wonder if the developers Software Creations were on a tight schedule at the time?