Paul Shirley‘s superb isometric puzzle/action game, Spindizzy Worlds, translates well to the Super Nintendo, even though this conversion did not have his blessing.
The SNES conversion was programmed by Japanese developer ASCII Corporation in 1992, (after acquiring the rights from Activision in a controversial deal), and it has to be said: they did a pretty good job. From the nicely presented opening sequence (complete with Mode 7 scaling planets), to the silky-smooth, full-screen scrolling – everything seems polished to the max.
Controlling the ‘spinning top’ GERALD (yes, that’s its name) is very easy, but negotiating the tortuous landscapes is not. Spindizzy Worlds contains a lot of levels to play through, all represented via a rotating cluster of planets. There are two clusters of planets to play through: “Easydizzy” and “Spindizzy” and each can be played at Beginner or Advanced levels. The final, inner planet in each cluster can only be accessed once the easier outer planets have been completed. A password system is used to record progress.
The puzzles you’re solving generally require you to collect ‘jewels’, which open gates and warps and other obstacles, but there are also various coloured button to press that change things. There are enemies, of course, but these only tend to impede you, rather than kill you. There are some killer tiles, though, that will ‘insta-kill’ you if you touch them. Falling off the edge of the course will also deduct some energy/time from you.
There’s no doubting that Spindizzy Worlds is a SNES classic. It’s original, non-violent, challenging, and great fun. Definitely one to look out for if you want a good old game to play for a few hours.