Dateline : 17th November 2011


All aboard the good ship Retrosection, and after swigging a bottle of rum and counting his pieces of eight, RetroBear considers the continuing adventures of an egg named Dizzy complete with nautical theme…..


Budget gaming arrives on the Amiga in the shape of an egg. A cracking adventure to follow ?

When creating a popular games character eggs don’t usually spring to mind. They have a fairly short lifespan and are rather tasty if used correctly. Give them hands, feet and a smiley face however and you’re onto a winner so it seems. When Codemasters unleashed the first Dizzy game on the 8 bit formats the title sold by the bucketload. This was a game which had no fanfare, wasn’t an arcade machine and was a budget title. Most budget titles at the time ranged from good value for your £2.00 or an expensive way of buying a blank tape.


Codemasters had always sold millions of copies of budget games, particularly their range of “Simulator” titles – like BMX, Grand Prix and, err, Super Tank – which appealed to those gaming on a budget. Dizzy though was different. The idea of collecting coins whilst picking up items along the way to use was not a new concept but there appeared to be extra polish applied to these games. Eventually Dizzy made his 16 bit debut with Treasure Island Dizzy, unsurprisingly having shifted a tonne of copies of the 8 bit version.


Collecting coins and finding useful objects are the aim of the game


The first thing that surprises you is the original price tag, just £4.99. This was from an era where literally no budget games were available for the Amiga or Atari ST. So how would this fare compared to the full price behemoths of the day ? Well first impressions are pretty good. The catchy theme tune and in game music are most excellent and add to the cartoony feel of the game. The graphics though are functional but nothing special. Dizzy is animated ok but does appear to skip rather than walk. Everything is rather colourful but for a 16 bit title its not going to make you want to rush out and spend £400 on a machine to run it on.


Like all games of this ilk (collecting) it can be a right pain in the arse. You can only carry a few select items and have to keep dropping some to pick up others, and thus you have to retrace your steps a lot. Some of the coins you have to collect are fiendishly hidden. The biggest drawback though is that you only get one life. Instant Death Dizzy might have been a better title. It doesn’t help that you don’t know you need the snorkel to go in the water, or that a trap hidden out of sight is triggered when you walk under it, or that a lightning bolt on a grave will kill you if you aren’t holding the right item.


The suspended hanging traps will fall fdown on you if you walk under them, so always best to jump past them


That aside for £4.99 back then you couldn’t complain. Treasure Island Dizzy proved that it wasn’t just 8 bit gaming that could cater for such adventures and Dizzy even went on to outings on the NES and Mega Drive. There was even a Tetris spin off and a Toobin’ clone but whenever Dizzy strayed too far from the successful formula the games ended up not being as much fun and certainly not as enjoyable.


All in all not a bad little game to seek out but not a groundbreaker either.


VERDICT : Not quite scrambled, more poached. Treasure Island Dizzy paved the way for budget games on the 16 bit formats but is fiendishly difficult and at times, with one life amazingly unfair.


NOTES : No copies to be found on Amazon and just one copy on eBay at £3.99


UP NEXT : See-saws, balloons, clowns and the wooden wonder – its Circus Atari on the Atari 2600