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back to article Head over Heels

Inspired no doubt by two years pondering the literal semantics of Tears For Fears' 1985 hit, Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond's Head Over Heels was an absolute masterful exploration game for the 8-bit era. Drawn in the same isometric vein as Knight's Lore and Ritman and Drummond's own Batman - no, not Arkham City, although I'd buy …

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Facepalm

Link

Seeing as the 'Buy from Amazon' link at the bottom of this article helpfully suggests the riveting books 'All About Joints: A Maintenance Guide' and 'The Science of Beauty Therapy', may I suggest this rather more helpful link to the free download of the remake, available for Windows, OSX, BeOS and Linux:

http://retrospec.sgn.net/games/hoh/index.html

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Re: Link

Thanks for the link. I used to love/hate this game on the C64 because I could never get the two to meet and it was frustrating as hell but I couldn't stop loading it and having another go.

Now I can be crap all over again with prettier graphics.

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Alert

Re: Link

Sorry, but the OS X version is PowerPC only, folks.

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Re: Link

Finally a use for my G4 Mini

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Classic indeed

Sadly though I doubt this game would sell in the modern day, especially as a multiplayer:

"FFS noob Head, you can't aim donuts worth shit!"

"lawl, fail Heels can't do the pick up & jump trick"

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and if you want to relive it in color, hit up http://retrospec.sgn.net/games/hoh which is a remake for PC, BeOS, Mac OSX and Linux Because you weren't wasting your time on games enough yet!

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Simple solution to the lives problem; Download a spec emulator, set hotkeys for save and reload. When you get to a tricky bit, just save it.

I took me ten years to finally complete HoH but it was worth it!

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Alternatively

If you're emulating a Spectrum, just make sure it includes a Multiface then pop in the POKE for infinite lives.

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Anonymous Coward

People keep reminding me of old isometric 3D games lately

At this rate I'll be digging out an old copy of Airball to see if I can get anywhere. Dammit, I have too little time already.

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Re: People keep reminding me of old isometric 3D games lately

Is there any love here for 'Spin Dizzy'? I'd love to see that on a phone or slablet.

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Re: People keep reminding me of old isometric 3D games lately

Spindizzy - Yeah! My favourite of the 3d-Iso games. Absolutely dripping with 1980's multicolour proto-cyberspace charm, and impossible to progress more than a handful of screens.

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Ah...

I remember the days spent playing this on an Amstrad PCW while at university in Leeds. Just started playing the version for PC, forgotten how difficult it was!

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Anyone remember "The Pit" in Penitentiary World?

The only way out was up, and the only means of getting there was to build a tower of blocks by placing them on top of each other. If you had no donuts, you'd have a robot to contend with whilst doing it too (which could knock down your tower if you're unlucky). And if you did reach the top, but exited in the wrong place, you'd immediately fall back in causing the blocks to reset and have to start all over again!

So much frustration, and so much relief when reaching the top after finally learning to avoid falling in in the first place

Finished it on C64, Amiga and Linux with all the crowns. Amazing game. :)

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Re: Anyone remember "The Pit" in Penitentiary World?

I could be wrong, but weren't you only Heels at that point, so you couldn't even use your donuts against the robotic rapscallion? Worst of all, upon entering the pit, because the robot moved at random, it was quite possible to land on the little git with absolutely no way to controll your fall and avoid him!

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Meh

Re: Anyone remember "The Pit" in Penitentiary World?

No, you were Head. You couldn't pick anything up and the blocks were already stacked. The problem was you had to gradually nudge them across a little each time you jumped to form a staircase. If you knocked any right off the stack, you had to try the other way out, and if you fluffed them both you had no choice but to top yourself to reset the room.

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Re: Anyone remember "The Pit" in Penitentiary World?

Ah, I'm thinking of a different room then (told you I could be wrong :P)

The room I'm thinking of had a similar vibe; I'm certain you were Heels, because you uncontrollably drop into this small square room, and in it are four stackable boxes and a little circular robot, and to get out you have to stack the four boxes up to escape via two possible exits. As if stacking the boxes alone wasn't enough, the little bugger would often bump into your stack, rupturing all your hard work, and could even go so far as knock them onto his head, so he's wheeling around like an idiot going "gettem off, gettem off!"

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Re: Anyone remember "The Pit" in Penitentiary World?

I have a feeling there were two robots in the room you're thinking of, but yes, that one is a memorably nasty bugger....

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One of my favourite games on the Amstrad CPC

I loved this game, although I never managed to complete it.

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This came out on the Atari ST

I remember making a complicated 3D map on graph paper. It was a great game, with simple puzzles like those found on modern games like Limbo.

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Pint

One of the best games on the Speccy ever.

I remember one of the reviewers (Marcus, IIRC) for Your Sinclair being stuck on the Safari world shortly after its release. I remember my joy at being able to work out this puzzle for myself, and wrote down the instructions for the puzzle. I remember salivating at the idea of getting my name in YS, for my Warholesque fifteem minutes.

Anyway, it seemed that month pretty much everyone other than Marcus worked it out that same month and I didn't even get a mention.

Still bitter, hence the icon.

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Headmaster

Ahem - "Knight's Lore"?

Does one perhaps mean "Knight Lore"? And the intro waffle is rendered a tad worse than it is by knowing that the working title of this game, until very late in the process, was actually "Foot and Mouth".

A truly excellent game though.

The remake has a slight imperfection, in that its rooms are all slightly larger such that it allows you to get stuck around the side of a doorway or fall off the outside of platforms that should be against the wall. Other than that it's a lovely rendition.

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Thanks Guys

One would almost imagine this story was a plant, only a very short time till HoH is released on the iPad (and the iPhone a little while after that)

Glad you enjoyed the game and a sorry to those who found it too hard, good to have it remembered after such a long time though

Cheers

Jon Ritman

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Re: Thanks Guys

Don't apologise for the difficultly level - as a kid I found it too hard, as an adult I find it has just the right amount of challenge and as the review rightly points out you can choose to skip half the game if you so desire.

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Re: Thanks Guys

Bloody hell, between this and Batman you were a gaming God.

I remember one room (fairly early on) where there was an opponent - one of those little pepperpot thingies - sent to auto-seek you as soon as you entered. The trick was that if you moved to a certain location you could jam it against the scenery. This was a very early introduction to metagaming for this once-teenager.

Thank you for many shamelessly squandered hours on the Speccy.

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Resurrection fish?!?

Methinks thou meanst "reincarnation fish".

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Headmaster

"We meet at last"

Nice Star Wars quote, but that's a screenshot from the very start of the game. Head and Heels start in adjacent rooms; Head can enter Heels's starting room, but they're separated by an impassable wall. It's pretty mental when they do meet up, but there's only a short period when they have to combine.

Fantastic game, though. Verily, they maketh them not like they used to.

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Never finished it

I got quite good at the game and remember spending a whole day trying to beat the final world and ressurecting every so often. Come evening time my parents wanted the telly back and I never managed to beat it. I just couldn't summon up the willpower to play for hours again :(

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Being Re-released Tomorrow For iOS ...

HEAD OVER HEELS: ZX SPECTRUM for iPhone / Touch – available weekend of 11th May, 2012 http://tinyurl.com/cmt85n3 #HeadOverHeels

HEAD OVER HEELS: ZX SPECTRUM HD for iPad – available weekend of 11th May, 2012 http://tinyurl.com/dyvzvx8 #HeadOverHeels

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