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Dimo's Quest: everything you'd want in a Chip's Challenge clone

>> Monday, April 9, 2007

During my visit at Lemon Amiga I crossed upon a Dimo's Quest cover simply named "Dimo's Quest" which looks exactly the same as the original SPC Vision game. However, I was charmed again by the colourful visuals of this game, the fun I had exploring all the candybars and solving all the puzzles, the cheesy music and the smooth graphics it offered on CD-i. All SPC Vision games are classics on CD-i, and for some reason Dimo's Quest never got a lot of attention. If you've played Chip's Challenge on the Atari Lynx, you know exactly what to expect, because Dimo's Quest has everything and even more compared to Chip's Challenge. It's been said of popular art that "beginners borrow, and experts steal"; In that case, the folks at the Vision Factory are world-class.

Facts:
Developer: The Vision Factory (SPC Vision)
Publisher: Philips Media (benelux)
Release: 1994
Genre: Puzzle/Logic
Review date: April 2007
Required: -
Recommended: Gamepad
Extra: no multiplayer, age rating: >7

Dimo's Quest is a series of levels, seen from the top view, filled with candies to be collected. Once you've collected them all, you find the exit to move on to the next level. Impeding your progress are lethal bad guys, cannons, trains, lava pits, water, fire, etc. You can avoid some hazards by finding spiked shoes (which allow you to walk on ice rather than slide on it), life-savers (allow you to wade through water without drowning), and fire extinguishers (for walking through fire). You can push rocks to various ends, from bashing bad guys to buliding bridges. Finding colored keys allows you to open doors of the corresponding color. If you die, you restart the level. You have an infinite number of lives, but you have to finish a level to move forward in the game.

After the first few levels, which introduce you to the various elements of the game, most of the levels consist of puzzles to be solved, such as "how do I build this bridge with only this many rocks" or "how do I get to the exit without being whisked right past it by the one-way floor?" As in Chip's Challenge and Lemmings, the best levels are those that encourage you to think of your tools in non-intuitive ways. The game has good music throughout, and the shifting backgrounds of the pause screen and between-level screens show surprisingly rich animation for a base-case CD-i title.

A few minor gripes about the game: first off, the game has a serious problem with its general "feel". At first, the twinkley theme music and the fixation with candy would make you think it has a child-like theme, but then Dimo starts talking and he sounds like a 20something waste-oid from Laguna Beach! Yet his dialogue is childish: "Hi! I'm Dimo! Do you like candy as much as I do?" It almost seems like the designers were trying to get two contrasting styles to work in the same game, and it doesn't come off. Fortunately, it doesn't affect game-play at all. Second gripe: the on-screen characters are TINY. While this gives you a better view of large areas of the level, it can be difficult to focus on your character when he's so small. Don't try to play this while sitting across the room.

Third: the game continues the trend of making stupid use of the player memory. It uses about 6% of a Magnavox 450's memory to store the name of the high scorer for each level, a feature I suspect few players really care about, yet the game requires players to type in an eight-character password (overkill for a game with only 51 levels) to resume the game where you left off. It would have been a far better use of memory to keep a database of what levels each player has gotten through, so you could just punch in your name and go back to the last level you were working on.

Fourth: Only 51 levels?! Lemmings has 120 and Chip's had 148! At 5-20 minutes a level, this game is far too easy to finish, and the prospects for repeat play value aren't great with level-based puzzle games like this. The problem is partially alleviated by making the levels larger and more intricate, offering several challenges in succession. But that means when you die three-fourths of the way through the level, you have lots of ground to retrace the next time through.

End comments:
Minor gripes aside, Dimo's Quest is a catchy, addictive game. If you like Lemmings, and especially if you like Chip's Challenge, you should grab this disc. It's one of those CD-i games that will get you addicted to puzzling again and let you spend hours on the CD-i player.

Graphics: 9
I could use the same description as in other SPC Vision games: The graphics are very colourful, and they create an absolute feel-good in the game. Nice character animations as well, and clever lay-out of the levels ans candy. These guys were good.

Sound: 6
Classic SPC Vision tunes but in my opinion the worst of all SPC games. In my opinion a little cheesy and childish. As stated above, it's like they wanted to use two totally different styles in the game, because the game itself is not aimed at the same audience as the music would suggest you.

Playability: 8
Excellent response times of the CD-i, absolutely no slowdown or low framerates. It's all smooth. The only little problem is that you have to sit right in front of the television because everything is pretty small. Although, with these big HD Flat TV's nowadays, playing Dimo's Quest is a totally new experience ;)

Value: 6
Once you've solved all the puzzles, I think it's pretty much over. You won't easily return to do them all over again. Even now, after 10 years before I initially solved the whole game, I remember a lot of it. It's a must-see on CD-i, but not many times over again.

Overall: 8 (not an average)

Similar games on CD-i:
Mega Maze, Lemmings

Credits: Chris Adamson, Erik, Bas.

1 reacties:

Austin June 29, 2011 at 7:29 AM  

I played this game just recently for the first time, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by it. A smooth framerate and solid animation, music that appeals to me for the most part, and some unique gameplay elements all help to add to it. To be honest, the only thing I don't care for is the voice acting. "Wooaaaahh, duuuuude!".. ;)

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Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

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New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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