A, Classic, Addictive arcade Puzzle game with 32 levels.
The object of the game is to change the current colour of the screen by bouncing on each square and without throwing yourself off the edge or falling down a hole.
You must also be aware of the guardians.
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.
Pac Man had already given me love of video games,as bad as I was at it in my very early years while my dad held me up in front of the arcade machines every summer.
But Pippo was different it was at home and I could play it as often as I liked, or at least as often as my dad would let me loose on the Spectrum and as long as I could wait for the games tape to load.
Pippo became the first game I was determined to beat no matter how many attempts or how long it took me to get good enough.
Now over 30 years later I’m writing it’s review, I've played many thousands of games since I first sat watching this game load all those years ago but Pippo will always hold a special place in my gaming heart perhaps only second to the mighty Pac Man himself.
With all that ramble over on with the actual review, you’ll take on the role of the titular character Pippo which is a very basic Q-Bert style puzzle game by today’s standards.
The controls are solid using either keyboard which has full customization, I always preferred the
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.
Once everything is all loaded your ready to take on the 8 levels each with 4 stages for a total of 32.
Every level features a 7x5 grid (35 squares) and much like the aforementioned Q Bert released 4 years prior you need to colour (color for my North American friends) these squares so they match the little colour indicator on the bottom right of the screen.
As you might expect things start off fairly easily, all you have to do is move (bounce) onto a square and it's colour will change to the target colour you desire.
As you progress through the game new mechanics are added with each level from having to change each square twice to get your desired result colour and then stepping on them the third time changing a target colour back again.
The game doesn't play nearly as difficult as the game it took inspirational ideas from in part because of the grid format and the fair abundance of extra lives on offer.
For experienced Pippo players all 32 stages can be completed in under an hour.
But the game continues to replay the final level once all 32 stages are beaten so you can continue to rack up as high a score as possible.
This by modern standards will perhaps not sound all that appealing but it was a format most of the popular games had during the era.
With the game sounding so easy what is there to try and take some of those lives away from you and add to the challenge?
Most of the Stages have between 1 and 4 hole squares in the level you can fall screaming to your death down should you have a slip on the joy stick or a wrong button press.
All sides of every level also have the same risk without any walls to keep you from death should you jump off.
The holes on the levels also serve the purpose of making your journey around the grid less straightforward and give the enemies an extra helping hand in cornering you from all sides.
The enemies themselves aren’t the brightest you’ll find in a game even for the era, too often they move away from you even when you are sat right on the next square almost begging them to kill you.
Enemies come in a number of strange and random forms from bouncing balls to space helmets, Boots to Scissors, numbers, dollar signs (despite being an English game) and more.
The most troublesome of them all is a UFO that spawns from the center in various levels and appears as part of a 5 ship armada late in the game.
I'm actually not certain the UFO really behaves any differently to any of the other enemies in a stage but it has always appeared to be more determined and kill happy than any of the others during my 30 plus years with the game.
In addition to the spawning UFO up to 3 more things also spawn from the center of each stage,
All 4 appear on the first level the first is a face that changes the colour of the squares it lands on 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 the UFO.
How many of the 4 spawn and he order they pawn in varies by stage but all of the 32 stages have at last one center square spawn and none of the enemies will move onto that center square until after all everything has arrived.
Graphically the game is standard enough for the system & the era.
A few levels are a little bright at times and there are a few levels where the target colour and those before them are too similar making them more difficult to view.
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.
Pippo was a major catalyst in my video gaming life.
By modern day standards it's probably little more than an easier Q Bert style clone with a slightly different look and style.
But it's very unfair to review or compare games with those released years or decades later.
The fact I have played the game for 30 years is a credit to its longevity those looking for some quick retro puzzle fun could do much worse than this.
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