New Dizzy Game “Dizzy Returns” on Kickstarter
Just a quick hop, skip and a jump to my bio below this article will show you I was introduced to gaming on the ZX Spectrum. A much simpler time, where games took 30 minutes to load and may still crash and game saves were still very much a thing of the future. As the way we play games have changes over the years, so too have the games themselves. Very few IP have survived the 20-30 year main gaming industry lifespan, with the exception of a few choice icons. One such gaming icon who we don’t see today is that of Dizzy the Egg.
First making his way onto Spectrums, Commodores and Amstrads in 1987, in Dizzy – The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure, we see our hero – an anthropomorphic egg – traverse the land of Katmandu to find ingredients for a potion that will kill the Evil wizards Zaks. The game was received very well at launch, and went on to spur 8 core sequels in the following 5 years. Running alongside these were a further 6 spin-off games making for 15 games in 5 years. That’s enough to even make an icon like Mario blush. But sadly the early 1990s saw a decline in the consoles that had made Dizzy great and the rise of Nintendo and SEGA as home console providers. That effectively sealed the end of Dizzy as we know it as other platformer icons took centre stage in more recent times.
The creators of the original games and behind Dizzy itself, are British twin brothers Philip and Andrew Oliver. They were still at school in the early 1980s when they created the first Dizzy game. Now 20 years after the last major release featuring this lovable egg character, they are looking to bring Dizzy into the 21st century with a new game for PC and iOS aptly called “Dizzy Returns”. The Oliver Twins have chosen to use the increasingly popular Kickstarter website to promote and fund this new venture. On the site, the twins promise “new puzzles, new characters, new locations, and new ways of playing will bring Dizzy bang up-to-date and make the game just as much fun for gamers today as it was in the 1980s.”
In terms of why they have chosen the PC and iOS market to use, the Oliver Twins, point to the touch-screen technology the latter provides will allow the game to “implement new mechanics and new ways of playing”, and obviously the keyboard dynamic of the PC “harkens back to the days of the Amstrad, Spectrum, Commodore 64, ST and Amiga” which will be very relatable to fans of the 1980s era who played Dizzy two decades ago. Obviously what this means is that it is unlikely to see the light of day on consoles given how expensive it is to develop for them these days. However never say never should Dizzy’s latest adventure prove to be a big hit.
Obviously the challenge the Oliver Twins have is that the game market has moved on considerably since the 1980s. Gamers expectations are very different now than they were in Dizzy’s heyday, and therefore the game he will need to provide for gamers will need to be different. After all one of the reasons why we haven’t seen a Dizzy game in 20 years is because its clear the Oliver Twins haven’t been able to convince publishers that Dizzy is a game that gamers these days will relate too. The twins have clearly acknowledged this as they are keen to use Kickstarter as a forum to get fan input as well as funding. Many of the rewards for the higher pledges invite dedicated to fans to craft villains, damsels, and even the adventures Dizzy will encounter within the game themselves.
Whilst its clear that using the powerful and prominent Kickstarter website certainly provides the Oliver Twins with a half decent stab of achieving their dream. The buzz around the Twitter-sphere certainly seemed positive after it launched a couple of days ago. Their target however is a big one – a whopping £350,000 to receive in pledges from fans in just a 1 month. Now that’s certainly a tall order by any Kickstarter standards. Now Dizzy clearly does have a loyal following and few dedicated fan-sites have sprung up over the years, but whether it will be able to drum up enough support from the public for such a big target remains to be seen. Personally, I would be overjoyed if a new Dizzy game did see the light of day, and remember fondly the childhood memories of traversing this egg and his boxing gloves around the various 2D landscapes on my ZX Spectrum. I would love it if that magic could be recreated and brought up to date, not only for myself but also so a new generation could experience the magic of the Dizzy universe.
If you want to find out more information on the Oliver Twins’ “Dizzy Returns” Kickstarter project, or if you would like to pledge money to the cause then click here.