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Treasure Island Dizzy (Amiga)

Genre
Perspective
Theme
...
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Nowhere Girl (1492)
Written on  :  Dec 04, 2012
Platform  :  Amiga
Rating  :  3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars

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Summary

A completely different game (compared to the Spectrum version)

The Good

Now that I've played the Amiga version as well (through a modified WinUAE emulator that allows running the game as easily as a Windows-based one), I can review it too.
The graphics are just beautiful - especially the treehouse village with lots of flowers covering the forest floor, but also the shipwreck and some ancient temple behind the pirates' hideout which remains inaccessible until you get an item that allows you to pass through flame... There are almost no people on the island(s) (albeit for the shopkeeper and his brother at the very end), only some bees and sea animals, yet the somewhat uneasy mood of the 8-bit versions is replaced by an atmosphere reminding of summer holidays.
While the tricky inventory system remains, the game is a bit easier to play than the Spectrum version. I'm not sure if this problem also appeared in the native Spectrum version (I played "Treasure Island Dizzy" through some online Spectrum emulator that turned it into a browser game), but sometimes pressing "Action" to get the coin triggered two events at once, as if the key was pressed twice (I'm quite sure it wasn't - now, after having played the Amiga version, even more) - say, you picked up the coin, but also dropped the item at the top of the inventory. If it happens underwater, it can be simply dangerous because you can unintentionally drop the snorkel - unlike some other games, such as "Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy" (where Dizzy can hold his breath underwater for a while), here it means sudden death.
The story has been changed a bit. Some items have been changed (for example vintage brandy instead of a microwave oven), some puzzles have slightly different solutions and a few areas have been added - a fish's stomach (you have to get swallowed by a fish to find one of the coins), clouds over the totem pole, an island in the sky and the above mentioned ancient temple. So altogether the game is a bit bigger than the Spectrum version and it remains a surprise even if you remember well how were all puzzles solved.

The Bad

Just as in the Spectrum version and generally in all versions of this game: the inventory system is tricky. You can't drop any item you want to, you always drop the item at the top of the list. This requires planning in order not to get stuck and especially not to drop the snorkel underwater...
Coin locations vary slightly between different versions and many coins are hidden. You can spend a lot of time wandering to find all the coins and some are found in a way you probably wouldn't guess without reading about it: by jumping on bees (but only the purple ones!) and by getting swallowed by a fish. This is hard to guess since "Treasure Island Dizzy", a game without an energy bar, quickly makes players develop a reflex of avoiding any suspected dangers. However, the hidden coins are still a bit easier to find in terms of "inventory planning" (again, compared to the Spectrum version) - you only have to hit the "Action" key in the right place to make them appear, while in the Spectrum version you picked up the item obscuring it (for example a piece of tree bark), took the coin and put the item back, which of course created another opportunity for messing up something in your inventory...

The Bottom Line

It's amazing how much does the mood change with a change of graphics. Of course, the change is substantial - Amiga had much bigger possibilities in terms of graphics - but the gameplay isn't changed much, it's the same story. And yet the mood is completely different. In the Spectrum version it's quite uneasy, desolate - the black background surely has much influence (it's rather conventional, but still leaves the impression that everything is happening in the night). The Amiga version is sunny, happy, even joyful and even tedious inventory doesn't spoil this atmosphere of a summer adventure.
It's definitely worth trying both versions - it's almost as if they were two different games.