Platform games
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Date: 3 October, 2003


 
The icy theme is reflected by the way Tux the Penguin slips and slides across the blocks as he picks up speed. Because of this the controls take a little getting used to, but are then very satisfying.

Get ready for plenty of running and jumping action this month, with a collection of platform games. We've thrown in a few games which aren't strictly platform based, but which feature a scrolling map - just to keep the variety up. Enjoy.

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Rocket man
Control the pint-sized hero as he makes jump after jump while trying to rescue his girlfriend. This is more a game of judgement and precision than of rapid reflexes, and the radar feature enables you to learn from your mistakes.

Tamale loco
Takes a lot of loading, but it's well worth it. Can you win the fair senorita's heart by finding all the ingredients for her father's Burrito? Great graphics and a nicely developed Mexicana theme. There's a lengthy introduction which is one of the more entertaining examples of it's kind. A lot of loving care has gone into this game, and it shows.

Runaway train
As you would expect from the team at Orisinal, this is simple but very well crafted. Use your mouse to control a man running along the top of a train. Time your jumps from car to car and keep clear of all the obstacles to make sure you reach the engine.

Arctic blue
Another Orisinal game, this time you control the water spout of a large whale. Steer the boat safely past the icebergs by spraying it up into the air. Score points by collecting the crates of supplies. For maximum points you will need to establish good control over your boat's cruising height - which is easier said than done.

Polar rescue
Avoid the traps, collect the tokens and steer your intrepid penguin through the levels to a snowball showdown. A nice touch is that you have to leave some levels and then return in order to reach everything. Very moreish.

Tux on the run
In a similar vein to the previous game, but this is a little more fast and furious. The icy theme is reflected by the way Tux the Penguin slips and slides across the blocks as he picks up speed. Because of this the controls take a little getting used to, but are then very satisfying.

Tony's teddy
Can you reunite Tony with his Teddy in this cerebral game. Place the blocks in such a way that you can reach the key to finish each level. A game that rewards patience and thought, rather than speed and reflexes.

Urbanoids
This is very good. All the robots in town have gone on a killing spree, and when everyone evacuated only you were left sleeping in blissful ignorance. Can you disarm all the robots and make it out alive? The twist to this game is that as well as shooting your way to safety (which is almost impossible) you can attempt to take control of robots, and let them clean up the town for you.

The battle for control of the Robot's neural networks takes a little getting used to, but is very satisfying once you work out what's going on. You choose the size of town you want to play in, and each level includes the streets as well as a sewer level. The one gripe is that the game ends once you've finished a level, rather than letting you move on to the next sized town.

Gulpy
Over 50 levels of platform action as you steer the amoeba-like hero around, collecting points and keys to move from one level to the next. Good graphics, and enough of a challenge if you want to complete every level before moving on.

Cow in the shaft
Bizarre. Somehow a cow has found itself falling through a mine shaft. Your task is to steer it from platform to platform, keeping it from plummeting off the bottom of the screen for as long as possible. Some platforms drain bovine energy, some restore it. With a choice of difficulty settings, this is strangely compelling.