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Kwik Snax (Review, ZX Spectrum)

All hail to the greatest intro to a Speccy game, ever.. that is the intro to Kwik Snax!
Well, that’s my humble opinion! Is there a better intro around? A full band playing, along with Grand Dizzy body-popping, is surely right up there with the greatest features seen in a Spectrum game? Excellent tune too, of which many feature throughout the entire game.

Kwik Snax – the best Dizzy Game..?

the kwik snax tape cover

Kwik Snax is an arcade style Dizzy game so it is a little different to his usual adventure offerings. No wandering around aimlessly for an hour trying to find a pair tweezers or some rocks, this is coin-op style collecting shiny things and avoiding anything that moves. This may offend some hardcore Dizzy fans but, I think I enjoy Kwik Snax more than anything else he’s been involved with (please don’t hurt me!).

Not to say the other Dizzy games are bad, not at all, there have been some great ones with the majority well accomplished games with excellent graphics, sound and storyline. Magicland Dizzy has some of the best tunes I’ve heard on the Speccy but I think it’s mainly down to my lack of patience, or maybe it’s because I’m not very good at timing that jump onto the sharks’ fin (which has to be done every time!) in Magicland to get to the back door of the castle. I always thought eggs floated, so not sure why Dizzy isn’t a fan. Unless of course he’s not fresh enough so he sinks, which is the case with real life eggs, so I hear. Enough with egg facts – let’s get back to Kwik Snax!

Kwik Snax is not Kwik to load

When people reminisce about old games that you load from tape, there’s always someone that says ‘The games took 20 minutes to load!’ which I find frustrating as this is not the case in the majority, unless of course, the only game they played was Kwik Snax. Or The Untouchables. Or Chase HQ. Or Street Fighter II (let’s not go there!). It is a beast of a game to load, well the 128K version anyway, but even though you have to wait a while, it’s definitely worth it!

The Kwik Snax Intro…

As fore mentioned, the intro is something else. Not only are you greeted with speech (K-K-K-K-Kwik Snax!) but you also presented with “The Dizzy Mob” band on stage, which consists of Dizzy characters. Daisy, Dylan and Denzil make up the musical side whilst Grand Dizzy provides the visual entertainment – his body-popping is epic. It’s quite the scene really – the movements of the characters coincide with the music beautifully. I’ve scoured for other versions of the game but thus far I have only found the Speccy version with this intro. Which leads me to this conclusion… the ZX Spectrum is the greatest machine! (subject to some controversy, I know)

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Banish the eggs!

kwik snax level

This game is bananas. Image Source

The game itself – beautiful. After you’ve finished watching the band several times, you may want to start playing the game! Here is where you are given the game synopsis. The band have finished their gruelling tour but get into an argument about where they want to go on holiday, which gets quite loud and the evil Zaks (who must have the greatest hearing ever) hears all this from high up in his tower whilst he’s trying to sleep. Enough of this malarkey, he thinks, I shall banish all these eggs to different worlds! They are all sent to worlds which are reflective of their personality which is explained in the game.
The artwork within the game when the story is unfolding is brilliantly done along with some beautiful music. Music is such a strong point throughout the game. There seems to be a theme to each aspect of the game, from the game menu, story, game levels and bonus levels. It’s another one of those games that begs the question – how did they fit it all into 128K of memory?? Of course, if you’re running the 48K version you will indeed be missing out on these extras. Though that said, it will save on loading time!

Which Dizzy character will you save first?

Upon starting the game, you can select which island you want to take on first and ultimately which character you want to save first. The first island is Ice Island which is where poor old Denzil has been banished to. Other islands are Cloud, Cuckoo land and just to be different, Zaks’ Dungeon where you’ll find Dylan, Grand Dizzy and Daisy respectively. The further you go along the islands, the more difficult they get so it may be best to stick with the first one if it’s your first time – unless you’re feeling brave obviously!

Pesky Penguins and other nasties

Another Kwik Snax Level

Please just imagine some penguins. Image Source

The game starts and you’re presented with a screen full of blocks and things that move (argh!) along with objects to collect, in this case, fruit which seems to be the theme throughout the game. All the fruit needs to be collected to proceed to the next level though there are some things trying to stop you, namely penguins if you choose to start on the Ice Island. Pesky Penguins. Also, you will see blocks around the screen which can moved around mainly so you can access said fruit for collection, or if you’re like me, they can be used for violence, namely squashing said penguins. They can also be used to block any nasties trying to kill as you can hide behind them, but where’s the fun in that? Death and destruction is the way to go in my book. I don’t think I was hugged enough as a child.
One of the neat things about the levels is that you can walk through one side of the screen to the other side and also from the bottom to the top and the other way round. Very handy for escaping from things trying to kill you as they can’t follow you – excellent! You can also take blocks with you should you so wish so you can kill kill kill by creeping up on the nasties from behind too! Think I should probably calm down now *takes deep breath*.

Dizzy Potter and the Order of the Fruit

EXTRA EXTRA!……points can be had if you collect the fruit in a certain pattern as they will take it in turn to flash so if you collect this way, you will get 100 points as opposed to 50 points if you collect them willy-nilly though this can be a little more dangerous as the flashing fruit may a little too close to nasty things, so if you feel like living life on the edge then go for it, or if you’re anything like me, you can just chicken out and get the ones nearest and safest to you. It’s the easiest way, I find.
Throughout the levels, there are power ups and other items to collect. These drop from the sky via parachute and land randomly for you to collect, or not as they are not all to your advantage. Of course the knife and fork can help you out as you turn Pac-Man for a period of time and you can eat away at all the nasties, though they will re-appear at another place after a few seconds. Others you can collect are a border blocker which will stop you from moving out of the screen for a short period of time and a bottle that will slowly remove the blocks from the level one by one. There are a few more like ones that will slow down the action for a few seconds, but it’s probably best you find these for yourselves so there are some surprises for you to find!

Bonus Levels!!

After you complete each level, you are presented with a bonus level! A chance for you to collect more points awaits! This time around there are no nasties present though more fruit to collect but the twist here is that there’s a time limit. Argh! On top of that, it will also require a bit of brain power as Dizzy can only move in one direction at a time and will keep heading in that direction until he hits a wall. This doesn’t seem like too much of problem though the time limit can sometimes by unforgiving and it is possible for you to keep running in the same direction if there’s no wall to stop you. Argh!
That’s how the game is set out – level, bonus level, level, bonus level, repeat to end though that sounds quite repetitive, it’s has the playability to keep it going. Along with this, the levels do get harder as you make your way from left to right across the islands. Unless of course, you decide to start at the end island and with your way back, in that case I guess it’d gets easier!

You have to hand it to Codemasters, they could knock out a cracking game, along with some duds, but Kwik Snax is right up there. Appealing to Dizzy fans and general arcade game fans, this really is top drawer stuff. Starting with the band intro (it really is epic and has to be seen, as I think I may have mentioned!) the story intro, graphics are great, the music – brilliant. If you’ve played it, you’ll know what I’m talking about, if not you need to go and load this up now! It’s worth the wait.

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Kwik Snax (Review, ZX Spectrum)


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