Head over Heels
Cute creatures and perfidious puzzles
One room in particular, which had you zig-zagging between deadly red-hot cauldrons, would require pixel-perfect movements in order to reach the exit. And with limited lives for each character, you could quite easily have one of them perish outright, thus rendering the game impossible to finish with the surviving one. There was no chance of resurrecting the other.
May I jump on your head, your highness?
There was a primitive continue feature in the form of a resurrection fish which, when eaten, would allow you to respawn should the grim reaper come a-calling on you, which softened the blow somewhat. Just steer clear of any dead fish, as they would prove toxic.
See how important it was to read the cassette inlays in those days?
Revamped for a new millennium
What was also interesting was that although the game contained hundreds of puzzle-packed rooms to explore - with more than a few 'how the heck am I going to get up there' moments - you didn't have to venture into all of them to complete the game.
The aptly silly plot involved liberating five planetary crowns, four of which were located beyond a teleportation hub situated around the game's mid-point, and while it was a joy to zip about the four very uniquely designed planets - Aegyptus, Safari, Bookworld and Penitentiary - you didn't necessarily have to collect all five crowns; just fleeing the main planet was a charge in itself.
You had to map it out on paper as you went, fine for players with a few technical drawing skills, but a bugger for the rest of us.
Like many games of recent years, there was a PC remake created a few years ago, although to my knowledge there is no option for infinite lives, and the refined save option still requires the consumption of a resurrection fish. So don't rest on your laurels of modern-day hand-holding, this game was epic.
If HoH passed you by back in its day, I would heartily recommend you seek it out. You'll fall head over heels for it. ®
Antique Code Show is published every two weeks on Wednesdays
Developers Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond
Year of release 1987
Platforms Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW
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