Preppie

Reviewed by Jim Short

 

Issue 25

Jan/Feb 87

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Americana
48k Cassette 2.99

1/2 players

1/2 joysticks


At one time Atari owners would have paid almost 30 for a copy of PREPPIE and still considered it a bargain. Now, this old favourite has been re-released on the budget Americana label at only 2.99.


Based on the arcade game 'Frogger' it puts you in control of Wadsworth Overcash, an unfortunate Prepster (American for 'schoolboy') who has been set to work retrieving wayward golf balls on the infamous 'Nasty Nine' - the world's most treacherous golf course. Hazards abound in the form of deadly lawnmowers, golf-carts, bulldozers, logs, canoes, crocodiles, snakes and even a gigantic killer frog!

 

Back in the good old days, PREPPIE was an innovation as it introduced Atari owners to the joys of multiple colours onscreen at the same time. These days many programs feature 'Rainbow' colour bars using DLI's, but Russ Wetmore, author of PREPPIE, used the colours in such a way as to make it seem as if the Atari had a 26-colour graphics mode. A unique achievement and, to this very day, no 8 bit game can boast the colour range that PREPPIE has - even the title screen features text in 14 different colours!!

 

PREPPIE also broke the sound barrier, being the first game (as far as I can remember) to feature music in 2-part harmonies using proper attack, sustain and decay envelopes. Yes, those were the days folks, with everybody going around whistling the PREPPIE tune like it was Number One in the Top Forty. Four years on, the PREPPIE music can still hold it's own against the very best of computer sound tracks.

 

The game has a lot of humorous touches, such as the way Preppie gets squashed to ten times his normal size whenever he collides with a moving object. The original game also had some pretty zany instructions, which included a riotous tale of Wadsworth's life story. Alas, these have been forsaken for something a little more in line with the new budget package.


Apart from that, it's exactly the same PREPPIE of old and, even though it is showing it's age somewhat, no software collection is complete without it. I read somewhere that PREPPIE is the biggest selling Atari game ever. If it had been priced at 2.99 in it's heyday it would have been the biggest selling computer game of all time, no sweat! Buy it now and show all those Crappydore owners what full colour graphics are all about!!

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