The game came out on the Genesis/Mega Drive, SNES, Game Boy, Game Gear, Master System, Amiga and PC, and every version starts with an anthropomorphic red circle (with attitude) surfing on a bottle to the tune 'Wipe Out'.
In the US version, Cool Spot is the actual spot on the 7up bottle come to life, who makes his entrance by jumping off the label. But in the Europe every reference to 7up has been edited out (maybe because Fido Dido was 7up's European mascot and they didn't want to confuse things), so he appears riding on someone's S.O.S. message in a bottle instead.
This is the European version of the instructions screen. In the US version that 'V' disc is actually a 7up logo. Which looks exactly like the 1up, except it only gives you 10 of those little red discs.
LEVEL ONE - "SHELL SHOCK".
Hey, that's the bottle I was riding. It's nice to have some actual link between things instead of each stage being entirely isolated.
Find 60 cool points in six minutes? Yeah, this is definitely by the same people who made Global Gladiators.
The Amiga version of the game looks a bit crap really, and it doesn't even sound that great because each time a sound effect plays it cuts out one of the instruments in the music. I don't know why some games do this, there's no point to filling all the sound channels with music if one of the channels cuts out whenever I do pretty much anything. At least it supports joypads so I don't have to press up to jump.
Fortunately they only take a few hits to kill with my rapid-fire fizz. I can aim my shots, but Cool Spot doesn't hold still while he's firing, so he tends to walk straight into the thing he's trying to kill. Plus it's kinda hard to hit enemies on a 30 degree slope when I can only aim in 8 directions.
I love Cool Spot's animations, they're all really fluid and the little guy's got a lot of character for a red circle without eyes. Seems a bit cruel of them to add so many idle animations to a game with a time limit though.
Plus for once the 8-bit version actually seems to be the same game, with the same levels and everything. I was expecting it to have similar art and gameplay, but with entirely new levels designed to suit the lower spec system.
|Game Gear||Game Boy|
It seems that no matter what system you play Cool Spot on, you'll be getting more or less the same game. Which is good, because I hate it when people use the same title for two different games. It makes things confusing.
A COUPLE OF MINUTES AND SEVERAL SPOTS LATER.
It took me three minutes to get back up and figure it out in the end. Fortunately the enemies stayed dead so I didn't have to kill them all off again. Turns out that my aim was just off, and I'm supposed to shoot the lock. The instruction sheet actually pointed this out though, so it's my own dumb fault for not paying attention.
I guess I'm supposed to bounce around the level on these bubbles and grab as many cool points as I can before the timer runs out. And I'm doing a terrible job of it, though I'm going to put some of the blame on the camera for not bothering to keep up with me when I'm falling.
LEVEL TWO - "PIER PRESSURE".
Global Gladiators was also a slick collect 'em up with a time limit, but it got tedious for me because of how repetitive it was. This seems like it's going to have some actual variety to it.
The arrow says go back up, but I can't head to the exit without searching every corner for cool points first.
Also, damn... what happened to that background? I guess that's why Amiga games often have a colourful gradient back there instead.
So holes in the ground without ropes are instant death, and some solid walls are actually in the foreground and I can walk behind them. Got it.
It's hard to tell, but I think the SNES version of this level may have a slightly different layout as I haven't come across a single bottomless pit yet. Actually for all know it might have an entirely different layout, it's all just ropes and ledges to me.
Cool Spot is actually a fairly resilient character so I can take a few hits before going down, but enemies don't drop health pickups often so I still have to be careful.
Wait, that's it, that's actually game over? Three lives and I'm done? No passwords, or continues, or anything? A bit harsh isn't it?
AND SO I START AGAIN FROM THE BEGINNING.
In the US version the letters spell out 'UNCOLA', which apparently is what 7up is.
LEVEL THREE - "OFF THE WALL".
These mice are no trouble at all, as I can shoot their cheese right out of the air before it hits me. There's spiders around, but they mostly mind their own business and leave me alone. It seems the biggest enemy I have on this level, is the level itself. It's another damn maze of ropes and wooden beams, except even mazier. Wow, apparently that's a real word.
Well that's one way to make a collect 'em up even more fun; hide the things I'm supposed to be collecting. Sure I could probably get the exit open by just grabbing the ones I can see, but this still doesn't seem much like sensible game design to me. Plus I need to grab every continue I can from the bonus stages to stand a chance.
LEVEL FOUR - "WADING AROUND".
Actually wait, I see a spot hovering over on the right. Perhaps it's a sign I'll be safe if I jump over that way. Or maybe it's just luring me to my death like those other spots I saw earlier.
26 SECONDS LATER.
2 SECONDS LATER.
Right, now I have to jump all the way back over to the balloons again, and try not to fall down this time.
43 SECONDS OF JUMPING LATER.
Though if these threads are holding the airships up, all I have to do is follow them down and I should land safely.
At least there's a checkpoint up there so I don't have to jump the whole way back up again, for once.
LEVEL FIVE - "TOYING AROUND".
(Two levels in a row ending in 'around'?)
I guess the game designers ran out of ideas at this point, and pulled 'toy world' out of the 'stock video game levels' cupboard. Maybe we can go down to the dining room next and jump on some floating cakes.
I'm being attacked from all sides by Lost in Space action figures. Whoever owns this place must be a collector as there's a thousand of them in this room. Lots of that dog thing on the shelves in the background too.
LEVEL SIX - "RADICAL RAILS".
I don't even know where this is supposed to be anymore. There's cogs, and test tubes, and vacuum tubes, and I think I saw a watch lying around too. It's the dimension of random platform game items.
This place is like an anti-Sonic the Hedgehog level, with slopes I have to slowly climb up to grab the cool points at the top, and it's so quiet here it feels like a bonus stage instead of part of the main game.
LEVEL SEVEN - "WOUND UP".
It's definitely not without flaws, but I can't help but like the game anyway. It's slick, the graphics are good, it's got a solid soundtrack by Tommy Tallarico, and it's always nice to take out of a screen of enemies in a frenzy of deadly fizz. Also no boss fights! A definitely plus for me, though perhaps not for everyone. So yeah, the two 16-bit console versions both earn my coveted 'gold star for not being unbearable' award. Congratulations 16-bit console versions!