Sunday 22 April 2012

Kokotoni Wilf - Sinclair Spectrum - 1984

Whoever drew the graphics had no concept of scale

Now, from some of the best graphics on the Spectrum to some of the worst.  Seriously, if I gave my five year old nephew a box of crayons he could draw better dinosaurs than appear on the first stage of this game.

Kokotoni Wilf was originally released in October 1984.  I got it as part of the Soft Aid charity compilation tape in late 1985.  As can be expected on a charity tape there were a few duds, but Kokotoni Wilf stood out.

You control the unfortunately named Kokotoni Wilf and your goal is to collect (isn’t it always?) parts of the Dragon Amulet.  Apparently the amulet keeps some dragons asleep and the spell is due to wear off.  Ulrich the wizard can renew the spell, however the amulet has been broken into pieces and scattered across time.  As Ulrich’s assistant it is your task to collect the pieces. To aid you in your quest he has given you a pair of wings – the normal jump control being dropped in favour of a fly button. The fragments of amulet are represented by stars.  When all the stars on a particular stage have been collected a flashing star will appear.  This flashing star is a time gate and touching it will take you to the next time zone.  The first time zone is 1,000,000 years BC and the last is 2001.

On the original cassette inlay Wilf is depicted as a toga wearing, athletic looking fella.  In the game he is anything but.  The action moves along at rather a sluggish pace and would have benefitted from having the speed tweaked to make it a tad faster.

As I have mentioned the graphics are rather basic and sometimes completely out of scale. Animation is also simple using only two or three frames at most for each object. Sound is not great either being limited to flapping wings and some simple beeps.  Having said that collision detection is spot on, which is essential in this kind of game.

Despite my criticisms Kokotoni Wilf is a good game.  It’s annoying that I can’t put my finger on why, but there is something that draws you in.  Though it shouldn’t be, this is an addictive game and one I enjoyed playing again.

A 1984 vision of 2001

 Maps and end screen....

And they all lived happily ever after.


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  2. Interesting little game this, I reviewed the whole Soft Aid compilation recently on Youtube