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Popeye is perhaps a little too simple in the gameplay department, but otherwise it's very playable; it's also very pretty -- the backdrops are attractive and so are the various characters, who are equally well drawn and animated. Unfortunately, the sound isn't so hot. The title screen tune is naff and the sound effects are reasonable, and both could have been better. However, these are only minor flaws, as Popeye is better than your average game.

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This is a really jolly game containing some of the largest fully animated characters I've ever seen on the 64. The backgrounds are colourful and Popeye and 'friends' are all very nicely animated and add great character to the game, which although having a simple scenario (a collect em up), is fun to play with some quite tricky problems to solve.
Popeye is a fun game and a nicely priced one at that.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Popeye
1986 Piranha/Macmillan Ltd.
Programmed by ?
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: June 12th, 1986).
 

POPEYE
Macmillan, 7.95 cass, joystick or keys (redefinable)


There's only one thing that Popeye loves more than spinach, and that's Olive Oyl (though Heaven known why -- probably because the two look and taste very similar). Unfortunately -- for Popeye -- Olive isn't sure whether she fancies being driven off into the sunset by a pipe-smoking advert for machismo, or not. So, being the blue veined male that he is, Popeye decides to try and win her over by collecting the 25 flashing hearts scattered around town and delivering them to her door. Some of the hearts are stuck on walls and are within easy reach, while others are behind locked doors that can only be opened with the corresponding keys.

The spinach munching, Olive Oyl loving, Bluto biffing
sailorman hero -- Popeye, surveys his task from the
dubious safety of the lighthouse.

However, it is a well known fact that true love never runs smooth -- a hulking great brute by the name of Bluto has also got the hots for the lissom femme fatale and doesn't take too kindly in the sailorman's galavanting. To make matters worse there are several other nasty creatures about town, such as a fire breathing dragon who roasts Popeye on sight, a large blue bee that patrols the top of the local lighthouse, and the Hag and her evil bird.

Just one of the problems, the broomstick whizzing
F one-eleven Witch.

Popeye's venture in love begins outside Olive Oyl's house and it is here that the hearts must be deposited. The locations flip from one to the next and although they are flat, characters can move in and out of the screen. This means that it is possible for Popeye to walk behind the scenery, and to pass Bluto and certain other characters without getting biffed. Whenever they meet, Bluto knocks Popeye senseless and it takes a tin of spinach to revive him. Only one tin is provided at the start of the game, so others must he picked up along the way. Any objects in Popeye's possession are shown to the right of the playing area, but as strong as Popeye is, he can't carry more than eight objects at once.

To the far right of the screen there is a love meter, which slowly ticks down as Olive's love for Popeye diminishes. If this reaches zero then the game is over.

     

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As a great fan of Popeye the cartoon, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the binary version of the spinach guzzling sailors' antics isn't that bad. As games-of-the-cartoons go, Popeye has to rate quite highly. Graphically the style is a bit strange and doesn't look even vaguely 64ish, probably due to its Spectrum origins. It's also quite strange, but clever, as absolutely no sprites at all are used; but as a result the game slows down somewhat when virtually the whole cast are on the screen at the same time. As for the game itself -- well, it's fairly good fun and playable. The puzzles are a little too simple to class Popeye as a true arcade adventure, but they are fun to solve nevertheless. A nice game that deserves the attention of any ardent games player.
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Presentation 80%

Immediately attractive in traditional cartoon style.

Graphics 93%
Pretty backdrops and big, colourful characters which are well drawn and animated.

Sound 41%
Poor version of the Popeye theme tune, but the FX are OK
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Hookability 81%
Simple and enjoyable enough to get into.

Lastability 75%
Not much variety, but pleasantly playable all the same.

Value For Money 76%
Sensibly priced.

Overall 78%
Nicely put together, unusual and well above average game that's more relaxing than arduous.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (8 Jan 2006)

Can anybody rip the SID tune out of this one?

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