About The Game
A, Classic, Addictive arcade Puzzle game Featuring:
32 Phases, 8 Levels, 22 Animated Characters and speech Synthesis.
Joystick or Keyboard.
Pacman was my first video game love and it was very close to being the first review of this site.
But the game isn’t without it’s complications playing differently on many of the platforms.
But more importantly than that Pippo was the first game I truly dedicated myself to beating at the age of 6 years old.
The day my dad brought the game home in 1986 and loaded into his spectrum +2 was the day I knew I was going to be a gamer for the rest of my life.
30 years later I’m writing it’s review and my passion and awe of video games hasn’t waned in the slightest.
You’ll take on the role of the titular character Pippo which is a very basic puzzle game by today’s standards and in all truth was far from ground breaking back in 1986 either.
The controls are solid using either keyboard which is fully customizable but I always preferred the pre set Q (up) A (down) O (left) P (right) control system.
Joysticks are also supported.
The games load time (assuming you’re doing it the proper way and not on an emulator) is reasonably quick for the era and your then presented with 8 worlds and 32 levels consisting of a 7x5 grid (35 squares) that you’ll need to change to the colour shown on the bottom right of the screen.
Things start off easily enough simply moving onto a square will see it change colour and you move onto the next one.
As you progress through the games levels it makes things more difficult you’ll need to colour squares twice to get the colour you need and then further along stepping on a second stage colour changes it back to a stage one colour as well as towards the very end changing it back to its original start colour.
For some people even that might not sound the most difficult thing in the world to do and if it were purely an empty 35 square grid it of course wouldn’t take very long at all of course even as it is the game can beaten in around an hour or so.
Most of the levels have between 1 and 4 hole squares in the level (a handful have more) and all start with either 2 or 4 corner starting enemies .
The holes in particular are generally well placed and can easily help relieve you of a life if you don’t pay enough attention to your surroundings.
Falling off the side or down a hole will result in Pippo scream in horror.
Strangely colliding with an enemy just has a sound effect I guess it’s not as bad as falling to your death.
The enemies aren’t the brightest you’ll find in a game even for the era and they’ll often move away from you even when they currently sit on the very next square but they’ll take enough lives from you to make it at least a reasonable challenge clearing all 32 stages.
The enemies in question are a little strange and random from bouncing balls to space helmets, Boots to Scissors, numbers, dollar signs (despite being an English game) and fair few more random items.
There are also up to 4 more things that can appear in the starting centre square depending on the level.
To get you use to these all 4 appear on the first level first a mouth that changes the colour of the squares it touches on some later levels it can occasionally do you a favour but generally speaking it wrecks everything so it’s often a good strategy to jump on it as quick as possible.
The second item (I’ve debated this for 30 years with various people) I think looks like a microphone .
Collecting it will turn every other thing on screen into a spring that can then be collected for more points & temporarily take enemies out of the game.
The third item is a mini version of Pippo that adds as an extra life just beware that if you turn it into a spring then collect it you won’t get the life.
The final appearance on level 1 is from a flying space ship many in the era probably thought of wen asked to describe a ufo.
I can’t say with accuracy the ufo has better AI than the other enemies but over the last 30 years it’s been responsible for more of my deaths than anything else.
No other enemy will enter the centre square until everything extra that appears on that level has appeared.
This can be an advantage on say level 1 where you could just sit there and wait for the life to appear before moving off to finish the level if you die the life and everything else will again spawn again at the centre in the same order.
Just beware on a few levels the ufo will spawn first and kill you for trying the tactic so make sure you know the order of items!
Graphically the game is standard enough for the system & the era.
A few levels are a little bright at times but that’s also partly the screen settings.
There is one particular level towards the end that is especially difficult to see the difference between stage 2 and stage 3 colours.
The music / sound effects are nothing special but they serve their purpose well enough and have never adversely affected me in my 30 years of playing the game.
I’ll no doubt be considered a little bias giving the game the score I have after all I can look back at it as a major catalyst in my video gaming life.
However it must be pointed out while Pippo was my star attraction on my Dad’s Zx Spectrum I played many other games in those days that I not only have little fondness for but almost no love at all.
The fact I have played the game for 30 years is a credit to its longevity (at least with me) and as I’m the reviewer it has surely earned such a score.
A review copy of the game Purchased by Video Game Legacy and reviewed in accordance with the review policy.