Egging on with The Oliver Twins Collection
Evercade's eclectic library egg-spands
(Wibbly, soft-focus flashback begins)
(Glances furtively at article header)
April, May, June (mumbles) ...October! YES! That's six months! I can talk about Dizzy again!! How convenient is that? Especially given that there's a brand new Evercade cartridge out there that finally collects together a brace of Oliver Twins classics, incorporating all the NES Dizzy and Dizzy-adjacent titles ever made, along with some extra titles as a Brucie Bonus. And, wouldn't you know it, it's a bit good!
Packing eleven games, there's a laudable effort here to chronicle the twins' Nintendo works, incorporating several previously unpublished games that have been polished up and released in recent years. On the Dizzy front we've got Treasure Island Dizzy, the home computer port taken straight from the Quattro Adventure cartridge - one of the more difficult Dizzy games, with a ceaseless desire to kill you to death if you make even a slight error. As a result, it's one of the less recommended games on the cart, but with the Evercade-standard inclusion of save states, it's a more tolerable prospect.
The real biggies here are Fantastic Dizzy and Dizzy the Adventurer, the former being a game that remains astonishingly expansive and incorporates puzzles and elements from its predecessors, and the later being the game bundled with the Aladdin Deck Enhancer peripheral for NES, and my personal favourite Dizzy game. It's short, sweet and pleasingly logical. There's plenty of backtracking but the game world is so compact that it doesn't feel like a drag. Awesome stuff.
On the unreleased front we have Mystery World Dizzy, an expanded, rejigged port of the brilliant Fantasy World Dizzy, his third computer adventure and one of the most beloved. There's also Wonderland Dizzy, offering the same treatment to Magicland Dizzy, with the added ability to play as Daisy, who is a girl egg. You're also getting action platformer and Dizzy-spinoff Dreamland Pogie, a surprisingly polished little left-to-right bit of business starring the perennial pain in Dizzy's eggy arse, Pogie the Fluffle. Pogie, uncaged!
There are a couple more Dizzys included, the arcadey Go! Dizzy, Go!, a take on the likes of Kickle Cubicle, and the entirely rubbish (sorry, Andrew, sorry Philip) Panic Dizzy, a puzzle game with very little to recommend it. Rounding off the package are a trio of non-Dizzy games in fun cycle-'em-up BMX Simulator, 'copter action in Firehawk and, best of all, under-rated exploration platformer Super Robin Hood, a game that I rate highly in the NES library in the way it takes that microcomputer style of gameplay and, quite simply, smooths it out. It's that perfect mixture of responsive controls and demanding gameplay, and I love it to death.
In fact, I fear I shall fall in love with the ruddy Evercade if they keep catering to my interests so shockingly precisely. What's next, a Psygnosis compilation? Oh god, that would be amazing, actually. Please do it. Thanks. For general consumers, the Evercade remains a bit of a curio, with no real super-duper killer apps, but for the dedicated obscurist, or people like me who simply have eclectic tastes, it is pure gold.