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500-Word Indies

500-Word Indies Index

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Giddy 3 - IBM PC, Windows, Wii, AmigaOS, MacOS, MorphOS, Android, webOS (2000)

by Gendo Ikari - March 12, 2013

Giddy 3 Logo

He may be not very popular today - a recent Kickstarter campaign for an official 3D revival failed - but the eponymous egg-shaped hero of the Dizzy series of action-adventure games (and several spin-offs in other genres) was practically Codemasters' mascot from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, and maintains a small yet dedicated fan base that produces countless fan games.

The Giddy series was one of the first, with two episodes released in 1993 and 1994 for the Amiga. While the screen flipping was employed by the Dizzy games too, simple graphics and a lack of sound effects betray their amateur origins. The third game, however, which was released for DOS several years later, is closer to a professional product from the golden days of the Amiga: catchy music, crisp pixel graphics with many little details, parallax backgrounds, and multidirectional scrolling that makes the level design feel much less constrictive.

The game stays true to the Dizzy formula of platforming (enemies cannot be fought, only avoided) mixed with many items to collect and use on objects in the scenario, but is less rigid in following it and tries to be more welcoming to the player. Giddy can carry an unlimited number of items, and useful objects are highlighted when he passes over them. Getting lost is also less likely since the game world is broken into five areas. With the exception of a TARDIS (one of a few random pop culture references thrown in) connecting two areas, you can't go back to a previous area from the entrance of the current one, and you're back to the beginning once you leave the fifth. They're not self-contained though, so you'll still have a fair amount of exploring to do, and several parts are not accessible until you have the right items. The final objective, as explained in a simple scrolling text, is the destruction of an alien robot factory.

Giddy 3 (Windows)

The entire game can be completed in an hour, but there are no continues, saves or passwords, so it will take at least a little while to master its small but fun world. Giddy 3 fully captures the spirit of the games it clones - when it doesn't outright refer to them, for example when you can use bubbles as platforms like in Bubble Dizzy - but at the same time manages to smooth out their rough edges, and has certainly aged better than them.

The DOS version is hard to run nowadays - even in DOSBox it remains unstable - but luckily the game has been ported to several platforms in recent years, including Windows, Wii and Android, with additional sound effects and most importantly fully configurable controls (the original control scheme was a bit quirky), making this Reasonably Special Edition the definitive one, although it loses an easter egg that appeared on a monitor in the fifth area when jumping several times in front of it: a demoscene-style intro, complete with tiny scrolling text and commands to alter it.

Giddy 3 (IBM PC)

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Giddy 3 (Windows)

Giddy 3 (Windows)

Giddy 3 (Windows)

Giddy 3 (Windows)



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