After well and truly informing the Bydo Empire where they can put their invasion plan yesterday in R-Type, we decide on staying in the black void that our ancestors so imaginatively called,”Space” for our next game in the Your Sinclair Top 100. Number Five is another one from Ocean Software and bizarrely it involves the coming together of apparently two dogs’ heads – yes we’ve arrived at Head over Heels.
Head over Heels strolled onto the ZX Spectrum in 1987, a 3D isometric game created by Jon Ritman & Bernie Drummond with F. David Thorpe providing the excellent loading screen art (all people within the 1980’s adored his work) and Guy Stevens handling the music. Head and Heels are the perfect spies, working together as a symbiotic being they are fantastic; Blacktooth knew this when they snuck into Castle Blacktooth, so he broke their bond and placed them into separate cells. The Blacktooth Empire is a cruel one holding numerous planets under his control, so as Head and Heels you have a choice either come together and make your escape or come together and help free the planets in the Blacktooth Empire? Whatever your plan, first you need to find each other and together you can then break free of the castle.
Here is another game in the ZX Spectrum catalogue that really shouldn’t have made it. When Head over Heels was originally released, it had already been three years since Knight Lore had transformed Spectrum gaming and there had been a serious glut of 3D isometric games, so much really that we’d become over saturated with them. When Head over Heels came out we should have turned our backs on it, but we didn’t and it was a good job we didn’t as this is a fantastic game. Jon Ritman delivered a game that still shines even today, plus it is incredibly smart too! The puzzles are not overly baffling and can be solved with a good look at the screen, it runs at a brilliant speed, the use of two separate characters is a genius idea making the game feel different each swap and when you initially do bring both Head and Heels together the achievement you feel is quite brilliant. You cannot even imagine the ZX Spectrum without Head over Heels!
Head over Heels is excellent, it’s coming up to is thirtieth birthday and it isn’t showing any signs of age whatsoever!