Tom Thumb, Commodore 16/Plus4

This 1986 release from Anirog is seen as something of a ‘killer app’ on the Commodore 16, although personally I think it’s over-rated.

Tom Thumb is a smooth-scrolling platform game with a strange jump mechanic: Tom can only jump when the run button is pressed, and when he does it’s very slowly. Thankfully you can change his direction in mid air. Not that that makes a great deal of difference, because Tom Thumb is an extremely difficult game to make progress in.

The aim of the game is to escape from inside a big pyramid and to amass points by collecting chests as you explore. And to find keys to open doors to locked areas.

The game has a reasonably nice tune that warbles along intermittently (thankfully not continuously), and the presentation is very good for a 16K game

Overall, though, I couldn’t help feeling that Tom Thumb was a bit too unforgiving and archaic to be considered a classic. It’s certainly nowhere near as good as others in its class, including Spelunker and Cavernia on Atari 8-bit machines.

Coincidentally, publisher Anirog truncated the name of this game to just “Tom” at some point in its lifetime. I’ve no idea why, but it was probably due to rights issues on the name Tom Thumb.

More: Tom Thumb on Moby Games

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