Title: Hype: The Time Quest
Strap: Itís as if a freak lightning strike brought all your Playmobile toys to life. Which is either so cute itís scary, or so scary itís cute.
Ubi Softís latest is a game based upon the Playmobile license. You remember Playmobile Ė like the little men from Lego, but bigger, cuter, and dare I say it, better.
You control a little guy called Hype, who must adventure his way through beautifully created 3D cartoon worlds. So as you may have guessed, H:TTQ is not aimed at your average Quake-headed hard-core gaming types, but instead at children, who are, letís face it, hard done by in the world of gaming.
The usual fare for eight year olds would be some awful 2D scrolling platformer that in some way attempts to be "educational". Kids donít want to be educated twenty-four hours a day; kids want to have fun, to play. And shout hurrah in an excited pre-pubescent voice, because here is the game to provide such entertainment.
It is inescapable to point out how much H:TTQ owes to Zelda 64 - it looks like it, and it plays like it. But hang onÖ Who cares? The PC has nothing to compare to Zelda, so surely something with similar ambitions should be welcomed? Hmmm?
Every effort has been made to make everything as accessible as possible for younger players. There are too many ingenious ideas that make this easily playable for youngsters to list, but save to say that no child is going to get frustrated getting into it. And for parents who care about such things, all voices in the game are in crystal clear British accents, not polluting your little dearsí head with transatlantic drawl.
Verdict: This is a lovely, well written, and gorgeous looking platformer, that for once lets kids of both sexes play on a computer without getting frustrated, patronised, or bored to tears.
Publisher: Ubi Soft
Minimum System: P200, 32Mb, 3D card, Win 95
Recommended: P233, 64Mb
Web Address: www.ubisoft.com