1990 Psygnosis

Platform: Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, PC Engine and Sega Mega Drive

A short entry for an interesting platformer which was originally called Dr Mallet and the Tribbles – thanks to Karl Kuras for the heads up about the game.

Game screenshot 4

Set originally in a factory of cute balls of fluff where you must squash them with a mallet, it changed to where to had to lead them to safety.  It was due out in November 1990, but would never happen.

Development was by Tony Colgan with graphics by Gary Timmons and is believed to have only got started on the Commodore Amiga before it was canned. The other versions were only planned and were seemingly never started. Gary was split between work on Cutiepoo and the new and upcoming Lemmings.

Mike Dailly’s brilliant DMA History pages gave a bit more background to the game:

Dave brought in another friend of Mikes, Tony Colgan to start a new game called Cutiepoo. Tony and Mike first met at Abertay computer club, and since both were C64 users, both started to swap code and demos.

When Tony started on Cutiepoo, he and Gary sat down and came up with a simple game design. Basically, Cutiepoo (the main character), was trying to save little furry tribbles (as inspired by startrek), from a character called Doc. Mallet. Doc Mallet was the archetypal villain, he just loved being evil. The poor tribbles ( named for the Star Trek pet!) didn’t have a hope on their own!

This was the days of simple games, and true to this mantra, Dr. Mallet ran about trying to kill the tribble by squishing them with a huge mallet. This all took place inside a chocolate factory – for some reason. Cutiepoo’s tribbles were based on the StarTrek tribble, a small, helpless bundle of fur, that was ripe for the picking.

Gary was now trying to get levels together for Cutiepoo, and had drawn the first in a series of test backgrounds. He, Tony and Dave then sat down to decide which style to use. The winner turner out to be the chocolate factory, since they could all see some funny situations cropping up in here.

The game was a showcase of some wonderful animations at the time, but it seems that efforts were focused on Lemmings and Cutiepoo would be temporarily shelved. We’re not sure why it was then eventually cancelled, but it is likely the success of Lemmings would change DMA design’s focus overall. We hope to find out more soon.

A demo of the game was presented at the 1990 CES in London, along with Gore and Walker on the same demo disk. Mike confirms that the disk is now sadly lost. It is hoped that Tony or Gary may have more to share, but here are some magazine screenshot scans and some recovered assets from Mike’s DMA history pages.


With thanks to the following sites for images and scans included in the gallery, as well as Ross Sillifant for one of the scans:


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