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Review: Mr Stumps Dentures
Author: Pete Nattress
Added: 24/02/2004

Well; quite a few of us have been waiting for this game for a long time, and now we have it, which begs the inevitable question: is it any good? And for me, the answer is a resounding “meh” of supreme indifference.

Let’s brush aside the fact that this game is made by Circy, one of the most well known people in the community, or the fact that everyone at the Click Convention was head over heels with excitement about it, and concentrate on the pure facts. Pass the file, please, Watson…

Graphics… well, like marmite, or herpes, you either love them or hate them... and I’m quite fond of them myself. Nice and clear, unique, cartoony, colourful, and overall easy on the eye. The graphical presentation is perhaps one of the high points of this game. One little problem I have (maybe I’m a spastic?) is that there is not a clear definition between the platforms and whatever those streaky white things are meant to be, so moving at fast speeds can sometimes be quite hard as you’re constantly checking whether you’re about to hit either a platform or the remains from one of George Michael’s toilet visits. Parallaxing is a plus but it really doesn’t add much overall.

Gameplay is the aspect of this game from which most of my “meh” sound is resonating. Technically, the engine is nice and slick, and the game controls quite well… but as for the objectives… it’s always a case of jump, jump, hit enemy, jump, dodge thing that’s moving round in circles, jump, jump, scratch balls, and jump again. “It’s a platform game”: yes, but a platform game that merely replicates the genre rather than adds anything to it. There’s nothing you’ll get from this game that you won’t find in Mario. Except perhaps George Michael’s stains.

And the game is hard… very hard. “Beat the bosses and you gain an extra life!” screams the readme file. Advice to Circy to make the game save after every level seems to have fallen on death ears: when it says Game Over, it means Game Over, which is most annoying. I always consider lack of proper saving features in any game just to be a device employed by creators to keep the player playing longer, hence allowing them to keep the game’s overall length shorter. I don’t believe this game to be any exception to that assumption.

The music in this game is quite nice all told; it fits the levels and is fairly unobtrusive. The sound effects, on the other hand, are a nightmare: perpetrated perhaps by Circy’s unnatural love for the system beeper object. The system beeps, made when enemies appear out of nowhere (another nuance of the mediocre gameplay) and at various other times, are incredibly annoying and detrimental to the game.

As for lastability, there is something strangely addictive about this game. Perhaps it’s the deceptively easy concept, or just a general malicious intent not to allow Circy to get one over on you, but whatever it is, there’s something that will keep you playing.

Overall, the game is outstandingly OK. The disappointment is that it could, and should, be so much better than it actually is. But to be fair the game does exactly what it says on the tin: a bog standard, yet somehow addictive platform game which doesn’t stray from the straight and narrow path trodden by the great platformers of old. For a 2MB download you get your money’s worth.

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