Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Gargoyle Games
Yikes, Scooby Doo the cowardly pup with the voracious appetite suddenly finds himself in a tricky situation. Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, Fred and Scoob are driving along in the beaten up Mystery Mobile when a strange rattling beneath the bonnet forces them to pull over to see what's wrong. "It's no good," said Freddie "we'll have to get help from somewhere." "What about that big castle over there?" said Velma pointing to a dark gothic house silhouetted against the moon. "We could knock at the door and ask them if there's a garage or something nearby." she continued. "Yeah, that's fine, like Scooby and I will er wait in the van in case someone tries to uhh, steal it, right Scoob?" said Shaggy, looking distinctly nervous. "No, all four of us will go and Scooby can stay behind in the van," said Velma. And the four of them started walking towards the dark forbidding looking castle, leaving Scooby sleeping in the back of the Mystery Mobile.
Little do they know but the castle on the hill is owned by a mad professor who likes nothing more than to lure victims back to his deserted lab and chop them up into little pieces and store them in specimen jars for future experiments. Double yikes!
And surprise, surprise that's exactly what happens to Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred. That dastardly professor ensnares the gang in his evil plan and leaves them, apparently trapped forever in his draughty, lonely castle.
And they'd still be there now if it wasn't for that canine coward Scooby Doo behaving in most uncharacteristic manner and trying to release his pals from their predicament. Perhaps it was hunger that drove Scooby from the beaten up van, or maybe the eerie way the wind moaned around the roof. Whatever it was, Scooby decided to see what was going on inside the castle...
However, when Scooby enters the professor's castle he has a shock in store for him. The castle seems to be haunted by all manner of nasty spooks and ghosties. He's about to run back to the van for all he's worth when he spots a Scooby Snack on the ground and realises that his friends must be in mortal danger.
There are four levels to the game and concealed on each level is one member of the gang trapped inside a specimen jar. Scooby has to locate his chums and release them.
However, Scooby Doo encounters a strange array of beasties on each of the levels and they are all determined to stop him from releasing his friends. And of course these nasties are all controlled by the evil professor himself.
On the first floor of the castle - which contains Velma - Scooby encounters horrible floating ghoulies which jump out from behind closed doors and are very menacing to the poor pooch. Hooded figures sidle up to him silently and try and knock him off his paws. The only way which Scooby can defend himself against the nasty inhabitants of this castle is by using his cumbersome paws which come in very handy for bopping the spectres on the bounce. Scooby can only hit his victims if he's not moving, and if they get him first he faints with fear and loses one of his six lives. When all these lives have been lost Scooby joins his friends as a future experiment for the professor. Evil cackle. However, Scooby can reclaim a lost life by picking up a Scooby Snack on the ground and eating it.
Level two of the castle is full of springy, sproingy things. These bounce out of cupboards and dumb waiters and sneak up on the dynamic doggy from behind. Skulls litter the floor and must be bounced over and floors are separated by ladders which must be climbed. But be careful... the nasties have a habit of scooting down the stairs and knocking poor Scoob for six. Level three hosts some very wicked looking monsters. Ghoulfish float around exercising their huge elastic jaws. The ghosties from the first level make a re-appearance, and tatty bats screech around at head height causing Scooby to bend down and cover his eyes with fright!
The final level is guarded by bulbous monks with no faces. Flying dumbells and rolling bowling balls are just some of the hazards which Scooby has to negotiate in the quest to release the last of his chums.
At the beginning of each level Scooby gains an extra life, but lives lost in the previous level are not given back to him ... For once, this hungry dog gets the chance to play the hero.
Control keys: left, right, up/jump, down/duck, fire/punch - redefinable
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: mainly monochrome
Sound: neat effects; no title tune
Skill levels: one
Screens: four scrolling levels
First time I saw this on the Amstrad, I thought that it was an extremely playable game. The Spectrum version is equally so, if not more. The scrolling isn't super smooth, and the lack of tune is a little disturbing, but the graphics are excellently animated, and the game plays superbly. Addiction is almost certainly to be found, and the game represents very good value for money. Even though it's been ages in the making, and the finished version is completely different from the screen shots seen all those long months ago, Scooby Doo is a really cool arcade game, well worth getting.
This is obviously not the game promised by ELITE some time last year, but it was definitely worth the wait as it is tremendously playable and ever so compelling. The graphics really are first-class: the many large and well defined characters move around the castle admirably and the castle itself is very pretty. Sound wise this game rates fairly highly as there are many excellent spot effects during the game - sadly there isn't a tune on the title screen but the front end is so good that a tune isn't really necessary. I strongly recommend this game as it is addictive and great fun to play too.
After the long wait for Scooby Doo it would take something fairly special to justify the time spent on it. This game manages to impress after the first couple of goes but it doesn't contain anything to keep the brain cells electrified for long. I found Scooby Doo looked very attractive to the eye and the idea of buffing and boffing all the characters - which didn't look too much like ghosts - proved quite exciting for a while, but this required no real skill. The animation of all the graphics is very smooth and accurate, and the screen scrolling is very silky (!?!). Scooby sound is not very startling and has very little tunewise. The game bases itself on the TV series superbly with all the folks from the team in it. Unfortunately I didn't find it extremely enthralling... but it's certainly playable. Have a look before you buy.
|Use of Computer
|Value for Money
This month see the inimitable PHIL KING scouring through the CRASH back issues for that crucial information on all the rereleases between now and mid-November. Take it away Phil...
Original Rating: 91%
This cartoon tie-in took a long time to appear, but when it eventually arrived in October 1986 (from the Follis/Carter team), it was thought by most to have been well worth the wait.
You play the comic canine himself, fighting off the ghosts and mad monks which inhabit the haunted castle that your van just happened to break down by. Scooby uses his fists (or should that be paws?) to eliminate the nasties while he searches for his lost friends; Fred, Shaggy, Velma and Daphne. These captured colleagues are each held on one level.
Apart from the many nasties after Scooby's blood, there are bowling balls rolling down the corridors and dumbells flying overhead. So it's a good job there are a few tasty Scooby snacks lying around to give extra lives.
Well-animated characters help to make this a great tie-in, with a particularly good representation of Scooby. But most grabbing is the thoroughly addictive gameplay which consists of some simple ideas cleverly bound together for some frantic action.
If you missed out on this Scooby Smash first time around, a couple of quid will buy you plenty of amusement in this classic cartoon caper.
Scooby Doo is the perfect example of highly defined playability with a devious mix of addictibility; the sort of game you'll play and play. Programmed by Gargoyle Games, sadly no longer working on things Spectrum, in 1986, Scooby Doo is still as much fun to play today as it was then.
You control Scooby, running on hind legs, through a huge haunted mansion wherein his chums are being held captive by evil scientists. Scooby's job is to run through each mazelike level, bopping ghosts and other assorted ghoulies to release Velma, Shaggy (gnuk!), Fred and Daphne. When they're safe, Scooby progresses even further to kill off the scientists on the higher levels of the mansion.
Scattered throughout the mansion are the 'oh desirable' Scooby Snacks; when eaten, they bump up Scooby's number of lives by one. Scooby Doo received a CRASH Smash when it was originally reviewed, and we've enjoyed it so much it deserves another!
SHAGGY DOG STORY
At last, after ten years of ghostbusting and a year's speculation, Scooby Doo has made it onto your Speccy. Phil South chomps a Scoobysnack and troughs his way through Elite's tallest tail yet!
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2 and Cursor
Keys: Z-Left, X-Right, O-Up, K-Down, P-Fire
Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you... dum dee dum dum... ah! I remember Scooby Doo. And now you can play the game, after all this time. Originally tipped as about to be the first genuine cartoon-style game on a micro, Scooby has emerged dog-eared (groan) but intact in this arcade box'em up from Elite.
Before Dr Venkman and all the other Ghostbusters were even out of High School, Scooby Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne were already bustin' ghosts on our black and white tellies. And they're still going strong. Scooby's owner Shaggy pioneered the use of 24 inch flares as a crucial tool in psychic research, and Fred gave part-time handsome lessons. Daphne was the pretty one who never did much, and Velma was the puggy looking one with the glasses who was always losing them.
Scooby Doo the computer game is a stiff draught of pure arcade action. The game is set in a scary old house belonging to some evil villain or other. Naturally enough, you take the role of our favourite Great Dane in his task to free his buddies from the big glass bottles into which they've been decanted. In order for Scooby to help his friends he must first find them, and then get to them by boxing his way through all the phoney spooks and spectres roaming the house. Amongst the deadly holograms and dressed-up henchmen he must beat are Mad Monks, Springs (a bit like Zebedee from Magic Roundabout), Ghosts and (shudder) the ominous Ghoulfish. If he gets scared by any of these bogus bogeymen, Scooby jumps up in the air and onto his back in a dead faint! Worra coward! To help bolster his courage, there are Scoobysnacks littered around the house and when he chomps them they give him an extra life.
Scooby Doo sounds like a really duff idea for a game, but is in fact great fun to play. The game was programmed by those wacky Gargoyle guys, and the graphics are certainly up to their usual standards. The animation of the Scooby sprite is really chortlesome to watch. When you pull the joystick down in order to duck a bat, say, Scooby imitates his cartoon original and puts his paws over his head. When he jumps up he curls his tail and feet under him, and when he boxes the spooks he assumes a sword fencing pose.
Arcade interpretations of successes from other media often suffer from being irrelevent, hasty and frankly a bit of a let down. I don't think anyone could level those accusations at Scooby Doo. It's fast moving, addictive, amusing to play, and most importantly, it's in keeping with the plots and feel of the cartoon series it sprang from. Unlike a lot of other licensed games which are hastily assembled and poorly conceived, Scooby is a sound and playable game in its own right.
|Value For Money
Never a man to miss out on a spicy low-pricey, Jonathan Davies sifts through this month's batch of good, bad and downright ugly budget games.
Reviewer: Jonathan Davies
Remember Shaggy, Fred, Velma, Daphne (wahay) and Scooby? Oh. Well, anyway, Elite has regurgitated its game-of-the-cartoon which was Megagamed first time round. As I remember it, Elite screwed up the first time it had a go at this one, and ended up having to get Gargoyle (who?) to cobble something together in about two weeks or something ridiculous. You wouldn't belive it, though. This one's triff through and through.
As usual, the team has run into trouble and has been bottled by a mad scientist who can presumably think of nothing better to do. Scooby has escaped unscathed so, with your help, he's got to rescue them all from a haunted house (the sort with portraits whose eyes move and book cases that swivel round, but you don't get to see them). There are thousands of baddies to smash up using Scooby's new-found karate skills, and these vary in the games four levels from merely nassty to the sort of thing even Fred wouldn't want to look straight in the eye.
Graphics take priority here, with some excellent animation, but, although it's really just a tarted-up scrolling beat 'em up, Scooby's great fun underneath too. Difficult aussi, but I did nearly get on to Level Three. And I'd have done it too if it wasn't for those meddling kids!
Reviewer: Graham Taylor
"Hey where are we? I don't like it here - its old and kind musty smelling"
"Hey has anybody got a light?"
"Yeah, hang on I'll get my torch"
"My God! We're stuck inside an old platforms and ladders game!"
"Hey I didn't think there were any of them left"
"Don't you see? Everything fits, see how the screen is split in different levels and there are these stairs that carry us up and these sudden holes that we might fall through if we're not careful"
"Yeah, and there are all these spooks and stuff - didn't you notice how they suddenly appeared from behind doors and how you could only get along each level by having Scooby punch them"
"I've been wondering about that Scooby's never acted like that before. I mean he's usually completely terrified."
"That's called marketing. Nobody would want to play in a game in which you only ran away from things, also it brings in a vaguely Exploding Fist element, a sort Kung Fu Scooby"
"Then there are all these Scooby snacks lying about.."
""Yeah, they're probably bonus pills in the game.. and these skulls on the floor. Scooby has to jump over them, so that makes things difficult."
"Hey, that's in the classic platforms and ladders tradition - but what's the objective"
"Well, a different one of us is captured on each level of the game and Scooby has to fight his way through to rescue us"
"And on the first level Wilma is stuck in a jar..."
"I never liked her anyway.. ."
"Yeah, but there had to be an ugly serious one of us to offset the stupid pretty one."
"So our predicament is totally hopeless?"
"I wouldn't say that, the graphics are pretty neat, I mean we all look who we are and Scooby is nicely animated..."
"Yeah, and there aren't any attribute problems because everything is two colour..."
"I suppose it's quite fun in a way..."
"Oh yup - the idea might be out of date but the whole thing has been put together quite well..."
"Who did it - Eite?"
"No it has to be someone with a good deal of expertise in animating large sprites, someone who could make us look like ourselves and yet develop a moderately entertaining game out of us... someone who tried to remain anonymous but gave themselves away..."
"They used virtually the same character set on Scooby Doo as they did on their famous animated graphic adventures..."
(Gasp) "GARGOYLE GAMES?!!!!!"
Gargoyle games pull off their mask and turn red with embarassment
"Gosh, darn it. we was only trying to earn a bit of extra cash to finance our next adventure, we made these ghosts out of some old pixels and on later levels used some bouncing spring-type alien things we had from another game, an' we would have got away with it too if it wasn't for you kids..."
I must admit that when I first played Scooby's long awaited computer debut I wasn't impressed. OK, it looked very pretty and all that - but it was still a basic platforms and ladders game.
It was a far cry from the innovative development game Steve Wilcox of Elite had shown C+VG almost a year ago which was more like an interactive cartoon adventure in true Dragon's Lair tradition.
This route proved to be a dead end, so the guys at Gargoyle Games - yup, it's another one of theirs! -took over the project and turned it in to the game you see before you.
Anyway, I wasn't terribly turned on by it all. Then, suddenly, I knew I was hooked. The dozy dog had me in his grip! I wanted to have just one more go at least a billion times during the evening I spent playing it.
The idea of the game is simple. You must help our canine hero rescue Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred from the clutches of a mad prof. The prof lives in a weird castle populated by ghosts, mad, faceless monks, bats and absolutely 'orrible goulfish.
Scooby's mates have all been placed in odd flasks - like genies - but it will take a lot more than a quick polish to help them escape their glass prisons.
Scoob has to fight his way up through the several floors of the castle, battling nasties all the way. One of his companions is hidden in a flash on each of the castle's four levels.
Velma can be found on level one - guarded by ghouls and horrible hooded thingies. The ghouls leap out from behind doors - but luckily there's a warning noise which lets you know when this is going to happen.
Good advice is NOT to stand near any of the doors, at any time, if you can help it. Scoob can defend himself by battering the attackers with his paws - they vanish, but not for long. And beware - the nasties attack you from both sides. So watch your back at all times!
If you want to rack up a massive score, simply get your back to a wall and batter all the ghosts that come at you. The score counter will whizz round!
There are skulls dotted around which Scoob has to jump over. Make your jump on the run otherwise you won't clear these deadly bits of bone. But make sure your path is clear by knocking out any nasties before you jump.
Look before you leap as there's nothing more frustrating than jumping right into the waiting arms of a killer ghost!
Scooby snacks can be found on the floors of the levels and these give you extra lives. But I've lost count of the times I've made a dash for the shack and grabbed it only to be wiped out by a nasty! Talk about frustrating! And you're going to need all of Scooby's six lives to complete each level.
Level two is full of Things on Springs which have the awkward habit of trying to use the ladders at the same time as our hero. This is an added hazard on this level. The ghosts on level one stick to the corridors.
Level three is full of those horrible ghoulfish. Small masterpieces of graphic design and animation these things float about opening and shutting their awesome jaws. They want to make a snack of Scooby!
Bats also shriek through the air and this gives Scoob a chance to show off another neat effect in the game. He dives for the floor and covers his eyes with his paws. A nice amusing touch this.
The final level is full of Mad Monks who obviously enjoy a bit of keep fit as there's a load of flying dumb-bells and medicine balls rolling around making Scoob's life even more difficult. There's always lots to do in the mad prof's castle!
The graphics on both versions are excellent. The choice of colours, design of the characters, animation and feel of the game are just right. Sound isn't that great - just some adequate spot effects - no tunes.
One really nice touch is the practice option which enables you to play through and see all the levels of the game before you get stuck in for real. You still lose lives but not at such a frightening rate.
Use this feature to work out the best routes to your captured comrades.
Playability? Well, Scooby ISN'T easy. Don't expect the game to be a pushover and be prepared for some initial frustrations. But persevere - it's well worth it.
Scooby Doo HAS been worth waiting for. It's challenging, long lasting and lots of fun.
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