Friday 27 August 2021

Ruff 'n' Tumble (Amiga review)

Developer: Wunderkind
Publisher: Renegade
Released: 1994

Ruff 'n' Tumble is an action game that's exclusive to the Commodore Amiga.

You play as a boy named Ruff who's attempting to reclaim his prized marbles from the evil Doctor Destiny. Armed with a machine gun, your objective in each level is to collect a certain number of coloured marbles to open the exit door. The game is challenging from the get-go and you'll quickly realise that rushing in all-guns-blazing is the wrong tactic to survive; instead, it's better to take a more methodical approach and pick off enemies from a distance or higher platform. What also makes things tough are the enemies that respawn from pods; at least they eventually stop doing so after a certain number of bad guys have appeared from them, but they're usually still bullet sponges. The saving grace from the brutal gameplay is that most enemies stay defeated on your next retry and even bosses keep any damage that you've already inflicted. There's also passwords for each world (although not for each sub-level unfortunately) that eases some frustration. There's no denying how terrific the level design is though, as it seems to defy all convention and has you exploring horizontally and vertically throughout. There's a nice mixture of environments too from its opening scenes full of greenery, to more creepy, claustrophobic caverns. However,  the issue with having Up mapped to jump is that you'll often try pressing that direction and the fire button simultaneously to shoot an enemy above you, but instead the game will only register your leap, leading to an immediate cheap hit. The graphics are simply outstanding with some detailed texture work and nicely animated sprites, but the jerky scrolling is a little off-putting.

Ruff 'n' Tumble might initially appear to be a run 'n' gun title, but in actuality it's more of a tactical shooter that rewards patient gamers with its solid gameplay. Once you adjust to its difficulty and take a slower approach you'll have a great time outsmarting enemies and exploring the glorious, sprawling environments.

Random trivia: The game was coded by Jason Perkins who also developed the adventure title Time Machine (1990, Commodore Amiga).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Find a Review