Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Oct 19, 2004
Platform  :  Amiga
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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I wish I was a crash dummy

The Good

I am sure that I have heard of The Incredible Crash Dummies before, but I never knew where they were from, but I think that they were so popular with the kids, that Virgin decided to make a nice little platform game based on those dummies.

Story: Slick and Sam are two "Crash Dummies" that enjoy teaching kids about road safety. Years ago, they were invented by Dr. Zub, and the two dummies helped the Doctor ever since, but the Doctor made a mistake. You see, he also invented the powerful Torso 9000 (aka: T9000) to be added to Junkman. One day, Both Slick and Sam returned to his lab where the Doctor tells them that Junkman must be stopped before he uses the T9000 to create an evil army of followers. It isn't long until Junkman comes in with his super vehicle and kidnaps the Doctor. Sam agrees to stay home and look after the place, while Slick rescues the Doctor and puts an end to Junkman for good.

Gameplay: The Incredible Crash Dummies consists of sixteen levels. As Slick, you start your journey at the parking garage and go on from there. Your search for the Doc and his kidnapper will not be made easy as you run into cars, robots, jumping objects (tires, planes, parking meters, etc.), and other dummies that try to kill you. There are two ways in which you can kill these hazards: either throw a spanner at them, or just jump on them. You have a limited supply of spanners, and if you run out of them, then your only option is to jump. Slick will have all of his limbs when you start the game, but if you run into any enemies or hazards without jumping or throwing a spanner, one of them flies off and he has to make do without it. His last limb that he will lose are one of his arms. At that time, Slick will be down to his torso. If he loses that, you lose a life. Fortunately, he can get a limb back if he collects a screwdriver. You exit the level by jumping on a spinning disc.

You have limited time to complete each level. The first couple of levels won't take very long to finish, but I wouldn't go wondering around if I were you. Later levels are long and you have plenty of time to wonder around them trying to find the exit. If you are short of time, you can pick up a black and white disc instead of the normal yellow and black ones to extend time. If you run out of time, you also lose a life. Gameplay in Crash Dummies doesn't just involve you jumping and running and shooting any enemies that get in your way. You see, from a level titled "Crash Centre" onwards, you'll find that you have to do one of three things: jump on a moving platform to avoid the dangers below you, jump on a stationary yellow and black disc that will flip your either up or diagonally to another platform, or inflate yourself to travel easily past dangers. You also have to skeet yourself through tight gaps, which can be done by running left or right and pressing down on the joystick, and to stop skeeting, just let go of the joystick.

After about three or four levels, you have to defeat an end-of-area boss. There are four of them, including Junkman himself. All of them require a lot of hits to kill, but, with the exception of Junkman, they kill in one phase. (Since Junkman is your main enemy, you'd expect him to be more tougher then the rest.) After you defeat the bosses, you enter Vehicle Crash Tests, one of the bonus levels that are inside the game. This is where you drive a vehicle, ranging from a car to a tank, and the object is to try to avoid hitting objects by jumping over them. It is easy at first, but as the background music speeds up, so does your vehicle, forcing you to jump over objects every five seconds. The bonus level ends when your vehicle collides with a wall, but if you hit enough objects along the way, then you won't get the bonus points even if you have time remaining.

And after each vehicle crash test, you get to watch a cut-scene where the two Crash Dummies teach you about road safety. One of them urges you to look both ways before you start crossing the road. Another teaches you to buckle your safety belt while in the car to avoid a nasty accident. In each cut-scene, the Crash Dummies get themselves killed at the end, and how they get killed is pretty funny. For example, Crash Dummy #1 starts crossing the road, and halfway when he's crossing the street, Crash Dummy #2 shouts a warning to look both ways. Crash Dummy #1 decides to look both ways himself, but in the middle of the road when it's too late, and an approaching car runs him over. I found it a bit funny, because not everybody know this, but you just don't look both ways when you are in a middle of the road. In Crash Dummies, one of my favorite levels is the Artillery Range, where you have to avoid hazards that drop on you or come flying at you while you have limited time to complete the level. Some of them teach you not to rush through the level, but to try to take it easy for a change.

Graphics: As for the graphics, Slick is drawn exactly the same way that he should be, and this goes with all the vehicles in the game. Each level has a different theme to them, and those levels have objects that relate to that theme. The levels that precede after the second boss, for example, have a "military" theme, and in those levels, you'll find military stuff like rockets, grenades, military outhouses, and more, and just drawn to look like what they should look like.

Music & Sound: The music is very good in Crash Dummies, and in my opinion, the best music in the game has to be the English-style theme song and the threatening background music that you hear when you are trying to defeat a boss. The latter is the best type of music that I heard so far.

The Bad

You think that the makers of Crash Dummies would come up with a better background other than the bland spectrum-like background that exists in almost every level of the game.

The Bottom Line

A good game, with good graphics and great sound. Suitable for kids who don't know road safety. This game teaches them about safety by letting them watch cut-scenes.

Rating: ***