Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
‘What on earth is a ‘Coot Spot’?’. I hear you cry. Well... he’s a spot, isn’t he? A spot that wears white gloves and sneakers, plus a pair of dark shades to hide his piggy eyes. He’s the coolest dude on the beach and drinks lots of fizzy pop!
This red, spotty hero started life squashed between the T and the ‘Up’ of the popular soft drink. In fact Virgin Games originally wanted a licensed game but legal reasons prevented them, so out goes Fido Dido and in comes Mr Cool Spot. The cart’s still packed with fizzy bubbles and green bottles, though.
Okay, so it’s another platform game, but the console wizards at Virgin have packed in some of the best sprite animation you’ll ever see on the MS.
There are eleven luscious levels to bounce through and the object in each is to rescue your spotty pals. They’ve been captured by the evil Wild Wicked Willy Will (you what? — Ed) so he can prove to the world he’s not mad and hasn’t been imagining spots before his eyes.
There are a set number of small spots to rescue on each level and piles of bonuses and power-ups to collect. Bubbles can be used to float to higher levels and balloons swung on to move across the screen. Red spots are collected to free your mates, but collect more than necessary and you’re blessed with a bonus level.
Cool Spot is one manic game. You bump into all kinds of creatures along the way: mice in pyjamas, bright yellow canaries, strange cowboys with big guns and mad pilots try to stop Spot rescuing his pals. You’ve got to duck, jump, slide and move around these nutters to put the hero through his paces — and hundreds of frames of animation.
With bonus games to play, neat presentation screens and plenty of levels to get stuck into, you’ll be playing Cool Spot till the cows come home!
I’m going to try my hardest not to mention Biactol... damn! But this particular spot isn’t unwanted and doesn’t sit on the end of your nose, crying out for the tweezers.
This spot’s a hip ‘n’ happening dude with great dress sense. Even though he’s the coolest spot you’ll meet, he’s also rather angry because all his friends have been captured by a nutter out to prove he isn’t as mad as everyone thinks. Guide the radical blemish through a succession of classic levels which involve much more than the average run to the exit. That’s what makes Cool Spot interesting — all the levels are well thought-out; none gave me a horrible Master System game déjà vu attack.
As you’d expect, the graphics are excellent. The strange thing is they’re not very MS, but that’s not a bad thing. The sprites are wonderfully detailed and coloured, right down to the laces in Cool Spot’s trainers. The sound’s a little weak but humorous so you shouldn’t hear shouts of ‘Turn it down!’ too often.
Oh, how I wish all platform games showed as much thought and originality, instead of following normal trends and having level upon samey level full of dreary nasties — yawn. None of this in Cool Spot — it’s got class!
Mega Drive Cool Spot was a brilliant platform shoot- em-up with a unique lead character — a trendy red spot wearing shades. Now it’s been converted to the Master System and retains all its originality and slickness.
What first impressed me was the amount of cool animation and detail that’s gone into the visuals. Cool Spot strides about the screen, full of confidence. His expressions and characteristics are great: if you leave him alone for a few seconds, he plays with a yo-yo until you press a button, and when he jumps really high, his shades lift off as he falls to the ground. Brilliant!
The big problem with the majority of platform-cum-shoot-’em-ups is they can be completed with no hassles. Cool Spot surprised everyone at SEGA MASTER FORCE. I barged my way through the crabs and flies on Level 1, but it wasn’t long before I’d run out of lives and had to start all over again. You can get away with this sort of playing style in other platformers, but not this one! There are restart points to trigger and lots of bonuses to discover on each level so playing a section again isn’t too much of a chore.
What can I say about Cool Spot besides it’s fantastic?! It wouldn’t look out of place on a 16-bit console. Who needs high prices when the Sega 8-bit can do something as cool as this? Well done everyone at Virgin.
Slick animation, colourful visuals, trendy tunes and a good challenge for platform fans.