Reviews Archive

Turbo The Tortoise

  Amstrad ZX Spectrum C64
turbo the tortoise amstrad sprite
turbo the tortoise spectrum sprite turbo the tortoise c64 sprite
  turbo the tortoise on amstrad turbo the tortoise on spectrum
turbo the tortoise on c64
  turbo the tortoise amstrad level 2 turbo the tortoise spectrum level 2
turbo the tortoise c64 level 2
  turbo the tortoise amstrad level 4 turbo the tortoise spectrum level 4
turbo the tortoise c64 level 4

Amstrad - The detail level is pretty high for most of the game, not as high as the Spectrum version but this is more down to the fact that the CPC is focussing on colour here, using its high colour/low resolution mode.

The main sprite is quite blocky (and looks to me to have a uni-brow for some reason), and doesn't really look that great, but the enemies look very good, with different colours used for shading which helps to keep the Amstrad version looking impressive, all the enemies have a certain charm to their designs.

Spectrum - Easily the most detailed of the three. A lot of the code seems to be shared with the Amstrad version, but due to this being in high resolution more room is given for extra detail, with some better shading, and a more detailed sprite for Turbo. All the bosses look fantastic.

C64 - The basic level of detail is quite high, but many sacrifices seem to have been made with the enemy sprites as they now have none of the personality they once had, many of the enemies now look like walking blobs (I actually mean that literally, what were furry yeti things in the second level are now round blobs that walk instead), and the excellently drawn pteradactyls now look like badly drawn bats.

All the bosses here are now pale shadows of what they once were, not only that but the second stage boss is now a moving block that tries to crush you instead of the Jack Frost looking guy.

  Winner Is: ZX Spectrum

Amstrad - A little inconsistent, some of the levels are excellently coloured whilst others not so much. The colours used are occasionally over the top but are always well within the boundaries of the cartoony platformer genre, this version seemss to have the highest colour counts of the three versions, and there's also some nice blending of colours in the sprites to give everything a more rounded look. Pretty good all said and done.

Spectrum - Colour use is very simplistic, unfortunately most of the levels are monochrome (or at best only two colours), and as a result look a little lifeless.

C64 - Whilst looking disappointinly low colour in general I feel this still comes off the better out of the three versions. This version isn't as over-the-top as the Amstrad game, but doesn't have anywhere near the kind of coloured shading of the its sprites, It tends to look a bit on the barren side overall.

Still I would say the colour use on the C64 is probably the best (but not by much).

  Winner Is: C64

Amstrad - The animation work here is really nice, the main sprite, and all the enemies in the game are all excellently realised, and move very well

Spectrum - Just like the Amstrad version this is also very good, there's are some variations between the animation frames here, and in the Amstrad game, but both are equally good.

C64 - The animation of the C64 version probably has just as many frames as the others, but is completely lacking in finesse, and looks very crude by comparison.

  Winner Is: Draw between Spectrum and Amstrad

Amstrad - The scrolling is fairly smooth here, but there's no parallax.

Spectrum - Smooth scrolling, and some nice parallax on all stages.

C64 - The main scrolling is very smooth, and the levels tend to have one additional layer of parallax over the Spectrum verson, leading this to be the best in respects to scrolling.

  Winner Is: C64

Amstrad - Unfortunately there's no-ingame music, only sound effects.

Spectrum - No-ingame music, only sound effects.

C64 - Like the two previous versions this also has no-ingame music, only sound effects, which is disappointing for the C64 as its proved time and time again that it handles in-game music with aplomb. Outside of gameplay though this version has a few short tunes between levels, so I guess the win goes to this version by default.

  Winner Is: C64
  Sound FX

Amstrad - Nothing special, I would say that the only noticeable difference between this and the Spectrum version is a better explosion sound.

ZX Spectrum - The Spectrum version's sound effects are pretty much the same as the Amstrad, not really impressive at all.

C64 - The C64's sound effects are probably the most I'll fitting of the three games, though being honest, none of the platforms do particularly well in this category.

  Winner Is: Amstrad

Amstrad - Turbo the Tortoise is your general run of the mill "hop-n-bop" style platform game. The game essentially has you jumping on top of the enemy's heads to defeat them, and navigating moving platforms, there's collectable projectiles to fire, the odd puzzle to solve (usually concerning blocks), bosses to kill, and some secrets stashed here and there to discover, it doesn't do anything particularly noteworthy but is a fun diversion nontheless.

Spectrum - This version plays pretty much identically to the Amstrad version.

C64 - Very similar to the other two versions, though this one plays a little faster, which to be honest in this instance I don't feel helps the gameplay that much at all, it doesn't quite gel as well as other versions (I'm talking about such a minute difference though here that it hardly seems worth mentioning).

Winner Is: Draw
No glaring differences between the three versions.
Winner Is: Draw

The C64 game misses out on some of the personality and charm of the other versions mainly due to it's poorer designed enemy sprites and animations. It seems to me that it's a port which probably didn't receive the time and attention it deserved, instead of turning out better than the other versions with full colour graphics and a nice in-game soundtrack it actually comes across as being more of a straight port with a few misjudged changes for the worse.

Where it comes to the other games, the Amstrad comes second out of the three in colour and second in detail (all other aspects are pretty much identical), whereas the Spectrum version comes first overall in detail and third in Colour, In my eyes this makes the Amstrad version the all-rounder out of the three in the graphics area, which is why it's the version I've decided to go with this time.

This has been a bit of a splitting hairs comparison, as the three version are virtually the same in all but graphics.

  Overrall Winner Is: Amstrad
Atari ST
Atari VCS
Commodore 64
Master System
Mega Drive
Neo Geo
PC Engine
ZX Spectrum