10 Best Dizzy Adventures
The year 1986. A simpler, innocent time: The Communards riding high in the charts; Ferris Bueller taking his day off in the pursuit of entertaining cinemagoers.
With the theme of Italian plumbing and yellow spherical pill-poppers already taken for character inspiration, nascent designers, twins Andrew and Philip Oliver turned to the breakfast table for a vehicle to provide some heroic pursuits.
Thus Dizzy, the walking, barrel-rolling egg was born. From such humble, odd beginnings an earlier video game star developed. Before the next decade was out, Codemasters had a critical and fan acclaimed original series of action and adventure-based platformers on their hands that had amassed sales of more than three million across computers and consoles.
Want to explore the best the Oliver twins had boiled up? Here are 10 of the best Dizzy delights available to retro gamers.
The fifth platform Dizzy game, released in 1991, saw Dizzy’s airtime expanded, thanks to trampolines, floating bubbles and, erm, a rotating mushroom. Which wouldn’t have been a problem except for Dizzy, unlike in other games, turning into a yolky old instant-death mess when falling from a height.
There’s a good set of challenges and a snorkel allows for underwater exploration too. However, a lack of cohesion in the graphics department, as well as some trial-and-error game play, means it’s not the most satisfying Dizzy quest.
Dizzy – The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure
Where it all began, with the Oliver Twins’ original 1986 release. It bears all the hallmarks of the later editions in the series, though, with the benefit of hindsight, it does play, look and feel like a prototype.
Moving away from Dizzy’s usual platform RPG antics, this 1991 game turned to underwater action. Ensure our Eggs-ellent adventured stays away from becoming a fishy foe’s savoury snack while balancing on bubbles to gather treasure. It’s fun for a while, but gameplay is rather limited, relying on its hero’s fame.
Castles and dungeons abound in this 1990 caper. Fans of Dizzy action rather than puzzle solving will find Magicland more up their medieval-mythical street, with more infuriating timing-based barriers to cross in order to rescue various trapped yolkfolk from the clutches of evil wizard Zaks. It’s therefore not the easiest of the platform adventures and, unfortunately, rather repetitive in scope.
Fast Food Dizzy
Another title that changes tack from Dizzy’s tried-and-tested platform formula, 1989’s Fast Food sees our eggy friend picking up then selling out other food stuffs to be eaten at various restaurants. The map-based game play can best be described as a somewhat more advanced version of Pac-Man, with curiously familiar chasing ‘monsters’ in place as the player’s nemesis. Fun while it lasts, but not one to try if you want a true nostalgic Dizzy experience.
Fantasy World Dizzy
Right from the start, the Oliver Twins weren’t messing with 1989’s Fantasy World Dizzy. Any expectation of an easy playthrough were thwarted right from the start with Dizzy having to avoid getting fried or boiled alive with fire and water traps in an opening devilishly difficult dungeon.
It doesn’t get any easier from there with spikes, rats, hawks and even a triceratops all posing the possibility of an instant defeat. As such, its probably the toughest Dizzy game Codemasters had to offer.
Crystal Kingdoms Dizzy
The largest and most ambitious Dizzy title was also the last of the old-series Dizzy Games, released in 1993. It opened on a scene of near-domestic bliss in the Yolkfolk Village.
With game play opening up to hut exploration, rather than the usual castle rampart investigations, with more involvement from Dizzy’s friends. That’s before a quest that takes in pirate ships, more treasure islands and an ice palace. A proper quest, with proper puzzles, ensuring this was a great last chapter.
Having taken a back seat on many of the later Dizzy titles, the Oliver Twins finally returned to design the 2020 comeback to the jubilation of the saga’s eggs-tatic (OK sorry, very sorry… ) fans. Three-and-a-half years of development resulted in a ZX Spectrum-only release, with the story taking on a Wizard of Oz-style setting across an extensive game map.
Treasure Island Dizzy
One of Dizzy’s most successful titles – selling more than 100,000 copies on the ZX Spectrum alone – saw the somersaulting egg getting fried – pretty often, thanks to the lack of energy bar and therefore instant deaths being frequent – on the titular not-so-deserted island.
It’s a classic from 1988, featuring an intensely infuriating section that required navigating, timing and hardware that accurately responded to your commands (Argh! I moved that joystick diagonally right) to guide Dizzy across the water to a neighbouring landmass. Hours wasted. Still, some satisfying, logical puzzles and a great sub-quest involving snuffling out 30 pieces of treasure to ensure a 100 per cent successful game completion.
Prince of the Yolkfolk
Starting with our big ouef not uncommonly trapped in a wizard’s underground dungeon, 1991’s Yolkfolk goes back to basics with a more compact maps that still manages to take in castles, treetop villages, underground caves and even the Gates of Heaven high in the sky – while befriending trolls and lions to ensure safe passage, all to rescue a trapped princess. With a level of difficulty just the right side of troublesome, it’s without doubt the most fun Dizzy title you can play.
Do you agree with our list? Are there any favourites missing? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below!