1-8 players, horizontal game
Atari Corp., for the Atari Lynx
Okay, let's get the novelty out of the way: TODD'S ADVENTURES IN SLIME WORLD is the first eight-player video game ever created. That aside, you play the role of Todd the explorer, who's trapped inside a planet made of disgusting green slime. There are six scenarios, and most of them requires you to climb, jump, slide, and fly to the exit, while grabbing as much treasure as possible on the way (when playing with friends, one scenario has you hunting the other players to be the last one alive).
Todd starts off with a water pistol and a computer-generated map. As Todd explores Slime World, he will find valuable slime gems and assorted tools such as shields, jet packs, or megabombs. Todd will also get coated in the gunk, whether it's from dripping ceilings or attacks from numerous creatures. The creatures can be dispatched with the water gun, but too much slime is fatal, so you must keep Todd clean. Even then, the trip is very dangerous; an unlimited number of lives are available, and pausing the game gives a six-character password to let you continue at a later date. A built-in tutorial makes learning easier.
This game is HUGE. Most of the caverns used in the scenarios are hundreds of screens large, and require literally hours to reach the exit. You'll often look at the computer map, think you're near the end, explore a bit further, then find a larger expanse of uncharted territory ahead. There's quite a lot to look at, also: waterfalls of slime, rubbery slime to bounce on, slippery slime, giant pools of slimy water. SLIME WORLD's creatures will fly, hop, and jump all over, hoping to either coat you in the ooze, eat you alive, or simply stick to your face. The six different levels are somewhat distinctive; some emphasize arcade-type action, while others require careful exploring and thinking.
As large and varied as it is, SLIME WORLD's weakest point is the lack of repeatability. It's biggest attraction is the appeal of exploring the unknown. Once you eventually finish a scenario, there is little motivation to try it again, as the layout and contents never change; a randomly-generated level would have helped immensely. While the "hunt the other players" mission is very enjoyable, the other levels feature little direct interaction, and do not benefit greatly when ComLynxed. Exploring Slime World is fun, but it's after the exploration ends that the fun wanes.
SLIME WORLD's slime effect is convincing and impressive, with glistening, unidentifiable clumps throughout, all oozing and pulsating in real time. Todd himself is highly animated, and can be clearly seen throwing bombs, using equipment, and performing whatever else you want. Creatures and other objects are also done well, though not nearly as animated as Todd. In a multiplayer game, your character has blonde hair while other players are brunettes.
Sounds are interesting, though ultimately not as exciting. Aside from the title theme, game music consists of repeating clips, ranging from short tunes to near-random beeps, that change periodically. Sound effects are a bit better, though a crowd of slime creatures in tight quarters can quickly produce a jarring kalidescope of noise.
TODD'S ADVENTURES IN SLIME WORLD will appeal mostly to players who enjoy the idea of exploring every nook and cranny of its vast, gooey terrain. For others, however, the appeal is not as distinct; depending on personal preferences and the availability of friends, the value of this card will vary significantly.
GAMEPLAY: 7 GRAPHICS: 8.5 SOUND: 6 OVERALL: 7