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128K sound on the Spectrum is quite amazing; five of the arcade tunes have been included to set the mood for a very playable conversion. Graphics are colourful, the only slight niggle being that some of the riverbank enemies are a bit indistinguishable from the undergrowth. But in short, Toobin' on the Spectrum is the best of the three version we reviewed here.
This arcade conversion didn't do too well first time round, which is a shame cos it's a bit of a spanker. The graphics are bright and slick (and rather chucklesome), the vertical-scrolling is slippery smooth and there's a host of fabby 128K tunes. As for the game itself, we're into Bubble Bobble territory, in the sense that while it's okay for one player, it's really best with two. You can barge into each other which promotes, erm, friendly rivalry. With floating gates to paddle through, bonus cans to collect and some fiendish river designs, Toobin' is jolly playable. If you want another two-player game to beat your pals at, this is well worth the dosh. Not quite a Megagame but a wazzy little barg all the same - it's faster than a piece of string and almost as addictive
Decent scrolling, but some of the sprites are a little indistinct. Still, this conversion captures of the spirit of the coin-op, and its addictive and enjoyable.
When you put Toobin' on the Speccy, the flaws in the original game are exposed - and even if the implementation was perfect (it isn't) - Toobin' would still not be a great game. What we're left with is an average conversion of a not so average coin-op. Which if you were pumped up about Toobin' in the first place is fine - but will seem a bit flat to the rest of us, otherwise.
Basically, it sounds packed with variety, doesn't it? Well, um, yes, it is... in theory. I only caught the coin-op briefly at the PC Show (for some reason it appears to be missing from all our local arcades) but I think the basic problem lies there. The pretty coin-op graphics were dead cartoony and appealing, packed with visual variety, and brought the basically limited gameplay alive. Now we're playing the same game in glorious two tone Speccyvision and it's lost out rather a lot. Suddenly it all appears too slow and too samey. It's not that I don't like simple games (I do) and it's not that I found the control system unfriendly (though it was a bit difficult to come to grips with), it's just that nothing about it grabbed me. I started playing with every intention of having a good time, but, unfortunately, Toobin' turned out to be a bit of a good time free zone. We did try it with two player and there was a bit more life to it, but only just.
Although I enjoyed the original coin-op, Toobin' just doesn't seem to work on the Speccy - or any other home computer for that matter. A rather weak game. [Budget re-release]