Little Devil

Reviewed by Paul Rixon


Issue 32

Mar/Apr 88

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You may recall that LITTLE DEVIL was one of two Red Rat titles grabbing the headlines last issue following the absurd decision by a certain British distributor, along with others, not to stock it, supposedly to prevent gullible Atarians being harmed by its alleged occult content(?!?). If past events in the publishing field are anything to judge by, this should (hopefully) ensure Red Rat of a best-seller, as Joe Public spares no inconvenience to experience what he is supposed not to see. This won't be a particularly difficult task, as Red Rat can supply the game directly.

What's all the commotion about then? Well, sorry to disappoint you folks but LITTLE DEVIL is about as worthy of an 'X' rating as an episode of `Rainbow'! Don't let this put you off though. The game is in fact an excellent implementation of the platform variety, the objective being to collect items from each screen so as to progress onto further levels where the adversaries have multiplied. These items just happen to be lost souls floating in a limbo existence in the bowels of Hades. It's up to you, as the Little Devil himself, to free the souls and thus advance onto further realms, taking you nearer and nearer to Castle Despair where King Mordread's imprisoned daughter Princess Linarta anxiously awaits her gallant rescuer!

There would appear to be only four different screens in the game, but this shortcoming is more than compensated for by the impressive design-work forming the backdrop to each one, and the fact that controlling the Little Devil's jumps around each screen in the time limit allowed (twenty-five seconds!) is certainly not a feat to be taken lightly! It starts off fairly easily but after level one, extra static obstacles are added increasing the challenge immensely. Running out of time or brushing with a guardian ghostie causes the Devil to forfeit a life (in Hades??), so to make your quest a little less impossible, a number of life-prolonging facilities are available. For instance, the time limit can be reset several times, and 'Arkanoid' style floating symbols can be captured to provide extra bonus points and stun the nasties for short periods. Additional resets and lives are automatically obtained upon completion of certain stages of the game.

I haven't mentioned the sound this should be enough to tell you that it isn't exactly one of Red Rat's finest efforts in this respect, the music being a somewhat unconvincing rendition of Scott Joplin's `Elite Syncopation' but overall LITTLE DEVIL can definitely claim to be another fine and much welcome addition to the range, one that will keep platform enthusiasts coming back for more to try and improve their standings in the highscore table, thus assuring a super value for money purchase.

Paul Rixon

Published by Red Rat. 7.95 on cassette - 9.95 on disk - 1 player with joystick