Cool Spot is a cartoony platform game featuring the brand mascot* for the soft drink 7 Up. It was programmed by David Perry and first published by Virgin Games for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis in 1993.
In the game you control Cool Spot through a variety of scrolling levels and must jump, climb, avoid enemies, and collect a certain number of red tokens, called ‘cool points’, in order to rescue other Cool Spots from locked cages. Cool Spot can throw soda bubbles at enemies to defeat them and he loses health whenever he touches an enemy, is hit by a projectile, or falls off the bottom of the screen. His health is indicated by a Cool Spot face on the top panel that gradually melts and falls forward. When it finally drops off the panel you lose a life, but it can be replenished by collecting 7 Up power-ups.
When you’ve collected enough cool points in a level the game then tells you to find the cage. To actually rescue the occupant you must shoot the lock with soda bubbles. Each level has a time limit and checkpoints are provided in the form of flagpoles. A bonus stage between levels becomes available if Cool Spot collects enough cool points, and you can also collect a hidden letter on each stage to restart from the last level when all your lives are gone.
While Cool Spot was relatively well-received back in 1993, playing it now feels a bit generic and dull. And it becomes frustrating fairly quickly. The third level in particular is very annoying.
Cool Spot is nicely-produced (by quite a big – for the time – development team) and is smooth, with decent animation and responsive controls, but the gameplay is samey and it lacks the charm, variety and depth of something like Super Mario World, which was released three years before this.
A sequel to this game, called Spot Goes To Hollywood, was released for the Sega Megadrive in 1995.
* = Strangely, the 7 Up bottle on the intro screen of the European version was replaced with a generic green bottle, because in that region the character ‘Fido Dido‘ was considered to be the official brand mascot of 7 Up, and not Cool Spot. Talk about marketing shooting itself in the foot…
More: Cool Spot on Wikipedia