Superfrog is an Amiga-based platform game, developed by Team 17 and first published in 1993, although this CD32 conversion followed later, in 1994.
Known as “Be Ball” in its native Japan, Chew Man Fu is an excellent arcade-style puzzle game where the gameplay involves pushing and pulling coloured balls around a maze. The colours are important, because – in the main game, at least – you have to push/pull the balls onto the same-coloured floor switches. And: do all of this while avoiding being killed by bad guys.
The key thing is: you can push/pull the balls around corners, and can move forwards and backwards in a particular way to make your way around the maze. The balls – if gripped – will also block the bad guys from touching you, and you can also kick the balls at them to temporarily take them out of the game.
The early maze configurations are all very simple, but as you progress Chew Man Fu becomes harder and harder. Not only does it get harder to push the balls onto the correct switches, but the enemies get trickier too. Some can even pick up the balls and run away with them.
Chew Man Fu is playable both single-player, and simultaneous two-player. It also has a single-screen football mini game, called ‘Kickball’ as an amusing diversion.
The title is a parody of “Fu Manchu“, a fictional villain from a series of books and films. Chew Man Fu is actually the villiain in this.
Chew Man Fu is a ‘hidden gem’ on the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 that is well worth searching out and playing nowadays. It was developed by Now Production for Hudson Soft and released on the PC Engine in Japan and North America in 1990.
Who programmed Wheelie? That’s a question I’d like an answer to.
Having played and enjoyed this side-scrolling motorbike game back in 1983, when it was originally released by publisher Microsphere, and having played it again recently, I would like to at least mention the person who made it. Balls to publishers – they were the “bad actors” of the software scene in the 80s and 90s – in my mind it is the programmers and actual game designers who deserve the credit for classic retro games such as this.
And – having searched the internet for an answer – and found only countless warbling commentators recycling the same old (lack of) information, I’d like to address this. Does it say on the original packaging who programmed Wheelie? Does anyone know the person responsible personally? If anyone knows: please drop me a message.
Wheelie is a ZX Spectrum classic – fondly remembered by me and all the people who played it back in the Thatcher years. And it is still worth a play nowadays. Sadly the game doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia page. Definitely an oversight as it deserves one.