Oldschool Gaming - reviewing new games on classic computers
Main review :: written by Jason 

I'm not sure where to even start with this one... Okay, so the erstwhile hero of Bloo's Magic Trip is Bloo and he's a bat, right? Okay, with me so far. So Bloo the bat is, as his name suggests, erm... he's pink y'see, yes that's it. No, bear with me here! Anyway, despite the colour alignment problems he suffers he just likes to do what most bats tend to for entertainment and spends most of his days jumping around on stone blocks and squishing rotating mushrooms. Why are you looking at me like that, I'm just relating what's in the game here, okay?! Ooh, nice jacket - why do the arms go around the back like that...?

Surreal and possibly even mushroom-induced game features aside (and with the words "Magic Trip" in the title, it's always a possibility) anybody who remembers the seminal C64 and C16 cartridge title Jack Attack released by Commodore themselves will probably instantly recognise the concept behind Bloo's Magic Trip and jump on it like a bat does a mushroom; the gameplay is simple, unpretentious and enjoyable with the action varying from aggressive at even it's most quiet and heading well towards frantic in a fairly short space of playing time.

In fact, Bloo's is what any good game re-mix should be; it manages to not only retain the playability of the original title it's based on but manages to add new twists and details to it and enhance the graphics at the same time. Additionally, a lot of care and attention seems to have been put into making everything feel right and the learning curve has been tuned to make sure it's not too steep to render the game unplayable or even overly frustrating. Bloo's will have you swearing at it in most of the right places.

It's not a perfect game and, it has to be said, there are a few detractions. My two slight gripes would be the slightly jerky movement caused by the heavy use of software sprites for the mushrooms (as per the original cartridge and one "feature" that I would dearly have loved to see improved upon) and, considering it's release was eighteen years after the original Jack Attack, the lack of a decent soundtrack is something that could have easily been rectified. But these omissions are more niggles than major flaws and certainly don't detract heavily from the game itself since it's fairly easy to ignore the former and put some background music on to negate the latter. Bloo's Magic Trip is a playable homage to what is a classic title and will give more than few mad hours of playing time.

Second opinion :: written by Paul 

Bloo's Magic Trip, what can I say, I think it should have been called "Blue's" Magic Trip, because blue was how I felt after I played it. It mentions on the title page sound, well the sounds I heard caused me to turn the speakers down pretty quick. I am thinking the "Magic Trip" is because of the "mushrooms", or was it I needed a holiday after I had played it?

The graphics; the mushrooms look like mushrooms, the pillars, looked strikingly familiar, like another game I used to play Space Hopper (upon checking I found they wern't but hey, there a plug for another old game... :) Overall the graphics were simple enough, but maybe could have been better? but as I am not a "graphician" (if that is the correct word) I can't really comment, but then again, I am reviewing this, so I can.... I digress. Okay, I had to do it; I hit the freeze button, had a nosey around and lo and behold the mushrooms are actually characters, not sprites like I was expecting, so plus point for that. But 160 blocks on disk? I could be totally out of place here, but I think a packer could have been used, I know that is a menial thing, but going back to the chunky 1541 without any turbo loaders, 160 blocks would take a while to load...

Overall, I didn't actually feel it to be much of a challenge, and by the 4th level I actually turned it off, it was getting very repetitive... If this was the only game on the shelf in a shop, my money would stay well inside my pocket.

Information

BLOO'S MAGIC TRIP

Format Commodore 64
Developer Gareth Taft
Released 2000
Price Free
Review Jason and Paul
Download Available
Screenshots
Titles Screen
Titles Screen
In-game Screen
In-game Screen
Scores
Graphics
Sound
Playability
Lastability
7
2
6
5
   Overall 6
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