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Magicland Dizzy

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Released: 1990

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Codemasters

Developer: The Oliver Twins / Neil Vincent / Derek Leigh-Gilchrist

Submitted by: Andrew Joseph

Magicland Dizzy is the 4th Dizzy adventure, but the 6th outing for our eggcellent adventurer.

This was the first Dizzy game not to be designed by the Oliver Twins.
Design work was done in-house by Neal Vincent (incorrectly credited as Neil) with the Oliver Twins retaining design-approval oversight, and coding was contracted to external developer Big Red Software.

The game includes a nod to Pac-Man, with Dizzy using a “power pellet” to overcome ghosts.

The Evil Wizard ZAKS' is back!

Like all Evil Wizards he had made certain arrangements against his premature demise…
He has exacted a terrible revenge by transporting the YOLKFOLK to a strange Fairy-Tale World and casting evil spells on them to imprison them there forever.

Dizzy must free the SIX Yolkfolk by breaking the spells and then destroy ZAKS once and for all before he can return home.

Magicland Dizzy

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Released: 1990

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Amstrad CPC

Publisher: Codemasters

Developer: Codemasters

Submitted by: Gareth Chappell

The fourth game in the Dizzy series sees our hero thrown into a mystical fairy tale kingdom. Here the evil wizard Zaks has imprisoned Dizzy’s friends and it is up to the intrepid egg to rescue everyone.

Puzzles are based heavily around various fairy stories. Depending on the player’s knowledge of these tales the completion of the tasks will either be relatively straight forward or teeth grinding obscure.

Solving puzzles revolves around the series tradition of retrieving an object from an awkward place and taking it elsewhere. Dizzy can now carry three items which reduces backtracking. This allows for more complex puzzles and creates one of the most ingenious solutions in the series history (involving a sleeping friend and a shocking solution).

Graphically, the Amstrad version of the title is simple but highly effective. Characters, objects and scenery are clearly drawn and coloured with a single colour against a black background. The simple design allows for the game to look as clear now as the day it first hit our screens.

Like many 8-bit titles it can be viewed as simplistic in terms of game mechanics and there is certainly not much in the way of true innovation. But the attention to detail and little touches really raise the game above the mass of pretenders. Things like having a bag of rubbish and an empty milk bottle outside the backdoor of the magical castle will raise a smile from all but the most cynical.

Magicland Dizzy’s gameplay is still strong enough to offer something to players and contains more charm per pixel than most of the bland, shiny fodder that stock the shelves of your local game shop. Far from being looked upon with rose tinted glasses the title is even more enjoyable now than it was all those years ago.