C64 Review of Chubby Gristle from Issue 40

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Life for the Teque Software crew would be a bowl of cherries were it not for a cantankerous car park attendant who gives them constant hassle. This rather unsavoury character plays such a fundamental role in the lives of the coding chaps that they have decided to base the plot of a platform game on his crazy car parking antics. And so Chubby Gristle was born.

As his name suggests, Chubby has a bit of a weight problem, but is he worried about heart disease or any of those other terminal illnesses which strike down fat people in their millions every year? No. In fact Chubby loves his food, and he lives only for nightly fry-ups as cooked by Mrs Gristle. Such culinary delights are by no mans guaranteed, though, so Chubby likes to get in as much eating as possible during the daytime. In between telling people where they can stick their cars and being grumpy, Mr G likes to leap about his platform-filled neighbourhood, on the look-out for all kinds of comestibles which he can use to occupy his enzymes.

In his search for lunch, Chubby can walk, leap and climb about each flick-screen location; these include a drain, Sainsbelly's Supermarket and even the Pose and Frown pub.

Obviously, if you've ever been in a car park, a supermarket or a pub, you know what to expect - percarious platforms connected by ropes, ladders and constantly movinb lifts and conveyor belts, and the space between them occupied by missiles, crazed women, vandals, bats, car fans and other shapeless blobs. Chubby must negotiate these gain grub, and hence achieve his ultimate goal - to be quite staggeringly heavy. As Chubby picks up flashing food, a figure on the tonometer at the bottom of the screen shows how close he is to ultimate fatness, the rewards for which are the love of a good woman (or at least, his wife), and consequently, lots of little Gristles.

Failing in his duty to his stomachmeans Chubby takes a long trip to a health farm, where rumour has it that remedial measures are best described as 'Kill or Cure'!

This review was typed in/OCRed by Luke

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In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

The current ZzapBack rating is : 30%

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brooke - 5 Feb 2006
hi you ok

Rating : 30%
Paul Glancey
Ah, this takes me back to the days of Spectrum Jet Set Willy, when I knew no better. Indeed, Chubby Gristle has a very Spectrum-ish air about it, mainly due to the tiny, monochromatic sprites and the small screen format. These sprites aren't well drawn at all, and the chunky backdrops of character blocks don't push back the frontiers either. Aesthetic problems don't end there though, because throughout the game the 64's sound chip is occupied in the production of one of themost mindless tunes I've ever heard. Gameplay is almost equally weak, and presents little in the way of problem solvinb, beyond working out when to time a jump to avoid two bats. At a budget price, I would be very dubious recommending Chubby Gristle. For ten quid, I have no doubt about my verdict: don't buy it.
Gordon Houghton
From the sickeningly twee music to the debased high-resolution Spectrum graphics, Chubby Gristle is terrible. His fat bouncing belly is only momentarily amusing and the game looses its hold onyou fractionally earlier. Not only is it derivative of an over-abused format, it doesn't even use it to any great potential. The transparent monochrome sprites, multiple bugs (watch out for the wrap around cars) and illogical, ungenerous collision detecton make the game's humour self-defeating. The 21 screens just aren't worth the effort, unless you're into third-rate, frustrating software. I can't see this appealing to any Commodore owner, not in 1988 and certainly not at this over-inflated price...
Keyboard or joystick options - but that's it.

Compressed screen coupled with poorly designed sprites and backdrops lend the game a very Spectrum-esque air.

A sickeningly twee tune plays constantly, and there are no sound FX to relieve the agony.

The general ugliness and tedious gameplay leave initial interest at a low level...

...and interest quickly sinks below that level.

One of the worst attempts at a platform game we've seen for some time.