A colourful single screen platform adventure game comes in the form of a oddly named game ‘Pluff’… Named after the blobby main character who has to go around various rooms collecting various objects, in classic JSW style action. The game feels like a mixture of Bod Squad and Demon Blues, what with its decoration and look and feel.
Pluff comes as a nicely animated blob with a hi-res overlay, though oddly has a yellow outline, which doesn’t look quite right – but seems to be intentional. Other sprites are also of the same nature of detail and merge nicely into the game.
Graphics are very colorful, and detail is reasonable throughout the game’s quite large map (Considering its a preview), although its very block based in design. It’s still functional enough! Playability wise, it seems to lack the substance of other games of its kind and a little simplistic, but a fun game none the less!
It has been believed for years that the game was never actually completed, but recently in 2014 – contributor Asphodel spotted the game on Retrocollector.org, and it seems the game was released in very limited numbers in Poland by LK Avalon back in 1996. We haven’t ever seen any reviews of it though or adverts for the game.
Thanks to the very kind loan from Havar B. Hojem, GTW64 has been able to fully preserve the title and present the full version which many will never have seen. The game was a complete pain to preserve. Luckily the tape had 3 copies recorded on one side, and after about 8 attempts – we got one of those copies to work! Just! The tape seems to use some kind of fast load, and the game is very quick indeed to load.
The full version differs slightly from the preview it seems, but the main thing you get is a nice intro picture, which is similiar to Creatures… and a nice little animated intro sequence before the game kicks in. The title now has a quick random sound that plays, some minor differences from the preview too. We haven’t yet played all the way through – but many of the screens look the same as the preview. No doubt there is a lot more tucked away!
You can also check out the inlays and tape scans in the gallery. Many thanks to Havar for his kind loan, which now means that this surprise finding can be laid to rest! Maybe soon we will hear from the coder and find out more about the game that went on sale.
Contributions: Asphodel, Retrocollector, Havar B. Hojem, Jazzcat, Pugsy, Dezert, Richard Bayliss
Thanks to Dezert for the translation, here are the instructions in English:
Once upon a time PLUFF, known to the whole world as an adventurer, heard from a drunk Amorrykanese about the coin of powers. Apparently, the coin made of pure gold, would give its owner a power over people’s minds, allowing to guide them into any direction. Pluff has decided to get the coin at any cost and since that moment onwards it became the only reason for living.
The goal of the game and navigation
The goal of a player is to control the moves of the fearless traveller during his expedition for the coin of power. Because Pluff has been locked in a maze his goal is to find the coin that will allow him to focus powers of his mind to move the stones that are blocking his way to freedom. During his wandering Pluff will meet many unfriendly creatures and unpleasant surprises, but he will also find keys for opening doors, wires that are perfect for making traps and other useful items. Pluff has to collect sufficient number of weights that after placing them in spots marked with arrows, will rise up a stone giving him access to the remaining parts of the labirynth – the part that is concealing the coin of power. Despite the fact that Pluff is weaponless, his amazing ability to jump allows him to avoid most of the surprises. He will also find edible mushrooms (marked with blinking letter “E”) that help him to keep his energy at the right level. The screen is divided to two parts: a playfield and an information panel that displays Pluff’s energy level and a content of his three pockets. The pockets can be used by pressing “Fire” and selecting the right pocket by moving the Joystick “up” and “down”. Pressing “Fire” on a selected pocket allows to get and leave items (a good example could be a trap for monsters). Pressing the “Fire” button on a pocket containing the energy will force the energy to be released, to avoid it, it is necessary to empty the energy pocket while standing on a field with an item, it will force the items to simply swap places.
The game is controlled using the joystick in port 2.
“Fire”: start the game, get/leave item.
“Space”: jump to intro, activate/deactivate pause during game.
“Restore”: go back to the title page.
Move joystick “Left” and “Right” on title page to toggle between the music and sounds in the game.
Loading the game:
Insert the tape, enter “LOAD” command and press “[ENTER]”
Attention: After the game is loaded it is necessary to wait a moment for the game to unpack. Please ignore the undesired effects while the programs unpacks as it is a normal behavior of the program.