SOFTWARE REVIEW: NEW TOMMY SOFTWARE PRODUCTS
by Richard Karsmakers
First, let make me one thing perfectly clear: Although I actually
wrote this review just before going to school (quite early, as a
matter of fact) and I admit I must have looked quite sleepy (am I
glad my screen in one of those non-reflecting ones - otherwise it
would have been a depressing day further on!) I have been
responsible all the time. The programs that I will hereby review
are "Dizzy Wizard" and "Trashheap", both from the German company
Tommy Software. Both programs (that is their biggest advantage)
ork on color-as well as monochrome monitors. Both programs
(that's one of their disadvantages) need at least 1 Mb of memory.
Tommy Software has launched several products on the ST already.
All programs were quite original, but lacked this....what would I
call it.....professional touch.
Let's start with "Dizzy Wizard" - of the two programs I reviewed,
this is definately the worst. The principle seemed to mean a lot:
Moving a shape down/up a landscape to fetch a piece of fire and
bring it back to the starting position. Much like the long-
awaited for "Marble Madness" from Electronic Arts. In the German
magazine ST Computer, the reviewer even had the guts to compare
the two games (!). Let me make another thing perfectly clear
here: No comparison should be made whatsoever, because that's
just like comparing a pre-WW II Citroën 2CV with the new BMW 735i
(both cars, both with four wheels - and even a steering wheel).
Please keep in mind that I have only seen "Marble Madness"
briefly - a full review will therefore be included in an upcoming
issue of ST NEWS.
The principle, thus, is exactly the same in "Dizzy Wizard" as
well as "Marble Madness" (but, in "Marble Madness", you only have
to get down as fast as possible). The graphics are really so-so
in Tommy Software's game. Apart from the fact that the colour
palette itself is really lousy (at least on the starting level,
but I am afraid even the next 99 (!) levels have a rather boring
color setting), the graphics lack the refined (and professional)
touch of the Electronic Arts product.
Then there's the sound. I guess both program have about the same
quality of game sounds. Not really stunning, but not bad either.
Where Electronic Arts chose to be modest, "Dizzy Wizard" included
an extensive piece of digitized music (I really don't like it
when used in this non-creative method, and it's a piece of
'jazzy' music as well so I had trouble to keep my breakfast
inside). As far as I am concerned, this is throwing away disk
space and memory. When pressing too many keys right after another
(e.g. when increasing the player level rapidly), the whole screen
can even be filled with bombs.
Something that's also very important in these kind of games
(which I would tend to call 'dexterity'-games) is the control of
whatever you have to move around the screen. "Dizzy Wizard"
allows use of keyboard, mouse or joystick, and I think neither is
really nice. Then you move too fast, then you have the biggest
trouble getting yourself together on a not-so-broad climbing
slope, then.....No, the controls are even lousier than the
The maze in "Dizzy Wizard" is extensive, that I must admit. And
there's 99 of those mazes. However, the mazes are built up of
only a few components, that really don't fit together at all if
you have a look at the maze map.
Conclusion: A bit messy game, this "Dizzy Wizard" package.
Altough there's a great variety of mazes, I fear that the game
really doesn't display the quality and won't have the success it
was meant to have.
Name: Dizzy Wizard
Company: Tommy Software
Overall rating: 6
Remark: Messy and not esthetically
"Dizzy Wizard" comes, just like "Trashheap", in a non-copy
protected version that works on all available TOS machines
(earlier versions sometimes didn't work on some TOSses). The
games now have a password protection that's the worst I have ever
seen. Even with the security password card in your possession, it
is really difficult to enter the right code (have a look t one of
those cards and you'll immediately know just what I mean).
Quite better is Tommy Software's other (and more recent) product
"Trashheap" actually is a 3D (and I mean 3D - complete with those
funny red'n'green glasses you can put on) space dexterity game,
in which you have to avoid obstacles and bring a plate of liquid
to the Imperator. The year: 4711 (Very newest intergalactig egg-
hour calculation). The odds: About 1:? (for the non-mathmetic
freaks - this is the sign for limitless, which is a very big
I will not spill forth all the facts to you - they are filled
with humour and a lot of phantasie and it would just spoil the
pleasure of reading the 'user manual'.
Lucky enough, it is possible to select true 3D or normal 3D when
using color monitors, so that you don't have to put those weird
glasses on all the time. Of course it's fun, but you can't hardly
expect to be without a ginormous headache after a couple of
hours' game play that way. Really functional, this option!
"Trashheap" can be played by 1-9 players and the graphics are not
impressive at all: Just like those "Starglider" vector graphics
of the good old times. But they are FAST, which is something that
can be said to the credit of this game. The 3D effect (when using
those odd glasses) is reasonable, but not so that you'd fall back
off your chair all the time.
The sound is moderate. The actual game sounds are moderate, but
the intro music (guessed it: Digitized!) sounds like nothing
decent. Why do these people that can obviously program quite well
always use that stupid digitized music?
Alltogether, this game is not bad at all. If you're used to
"Wanderer" (another true 3D game), I think you'll find something
in "Trashheap" that's about the same in quality. "Trashheap" is
not what I'd call a game of high standard, but at least not as
bad as many other products I've seen recently.
Company: Tommy Software
Graphics: 7 (Quite fast)
Overall rating: 6.5
Remark: Rather to-the-point program
One more note from me: I have thought long about how I would
write this review. Would I write these new games of a promising
German softwarehouse straight into heaven (thus probably ensuring
furthe review status at Tommy Software)? Or would I tell the
reader the truth (and nothing but the truth) and thereby hurting
the people who worked so hard to create these games? I decided to
do a moderate version of the latter, because I don't want people
to end up with a not-so-good game when they read a stunning
review. I think it just suffices to say that the Tommy Software
guys can do a lot better. Hint to them: Use music from any of the
"Pop poll"'s top five music programmers, use better graphics and
get rid of all bugs! Finally: Supply your games with a copy
protection sheet that at least the original user can work with to
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.