Gremlin have always been known for their racing games and so Harlequin makes very welcome change. It has been programmed by the Warp Factory, a couple of Scottish geezers, and is the first product they have written for the Sherffield based computer company.
Playing Harlequin will make you instantly wonder what on earth it was that the programmers were on when creating the game – is is such a departure from what seems to have become the platform game norm.
Coming to Chimerica
Chimerica, the Harlequin’s home, is a giant clock which has unfortunately suffered a broken heart. The land is now full of danger and Harlequin must vanquish this evil and unlock all the doors to the individual levels.
His main objective is to collect the four parts of the heart and restore them to their rightful place. Okay, so it sounds somewhat familiar but the game follows the odd plot to the letter.
Harlequin is an eight way scrolling platform game in which you take of the Harlequin, a type of clown reminiscent of the character fond at masked balls. The hero is armed to the teeth with love hearts that will destroy and adversary upon contact. He also has a massive leap which he can utilise in order to gain access to higher levels as well as thwarting danger.
There are 23 levels in total and these make up the land of Chimerica. Each one contains plenty of baddies and puzzles to solve, most o these being the toggling of switches that will open the doors to the other levels.
Along the way there are goodies such as cakes and beefburgers that will earn the Harlequin extra points and energy. The presents contain tokens such as the fish, space hopper and umbrella which will prove a necessity in some of the levels – Swercide for example contains a lot of water and Harlequin will need to change into a fish before he can enter it.
There are plenty of horrendous znasties around, and some will do more damage than others. Even Mister Matey, the foam bath star, makes and appearance. Unfortunately, he has been turned to his evil alter ego therefore Harlequin will need to dispose of him.