Slinky

Platforms: Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Commodore VIC-20, TI-99/4A

Genres

Main Genre:
Action
Perspective:
Bird's-eye view , Isometric
Visual Presentation:
Fixed / Flip Screen

Overview

Commodore 64 version of Slinky
Commodore 64 version of Slinky

Slinky is an action game released by Cosmi Corporation in 1983. The game has some similarities to Q*bert and introduces some unique elements as well. Players control the titular slinky with the goal of turning all the blocks in the playfield to a different color in a Q*bert-esque fashion. Naturally, various obstacles appear on the playfield which can either get in the way or help out Slinky.

Gameplay

The playfield in Slinky features a large number of blocks with a view similar to Q*bert; unlike Q*bert, the blocks fill up the screen instead of forming a pyramid. Players control a slinky which can jump from block to block; when it does, the block changes color. The goal is to change the color of each block by having the slinky jump on all of them. Players begin Slinky with 25,000 points and five slinkys. As players jump from block to block, points are lost for each move. If players lose all of their points or all of the slinkys, the game is over. Appearing randomly in the playfield are 8000 point bonus blocks which increase the score if jumped on; points are also earned if Marge the magnet drags Slinky across blocks or being hit by Ralph the raindrop. At the end of the game additional points are awarded for each level completed. To make the slinky's life both easier and more difficult, a number of opponents and objects will appear:

  • Hyper-Holes: These black colored spaces on the playfield will return the slinky to the starting location at the top left of the playfield.
  • “Dusty” the dust cloud: Makes slinky dirty; each move will cost 500 points instead of the usual 100 points and slows movement.
  • “Marge” the magnet: If slinky isn't moving, Marge will carry the slinky off the edge of the playfield costing points. If a Hyper-Hole is in the way, the slinky will instead fall into the hole and return to the starting location; this could potentially provide a way for players to earn points if they're careful.
  • “Ralph” the random raindrop: Falls from the top of the screen; if the slinky is hit, it becomes wet and can move faster and moves cost fewer points. However, if the slinky collides with Dusty it will rust and be unable to move.
  • “Oil Can Charlie”: If the slinky rusts and can't move, Charlie carries it off of the screen. This costs points but allows a new slinky to take its place.
  • “Claude” the falling face: The slinky needs to avoid Claude as a collision causes it to fall off of the playfield.
  • “Lorenzo” the chameleon hopper: Lorenzo chases the slinky around the playfield and will cost a life if slinky is caught.
As players progress through the levels, the game becomes more challening and more obstacles appear.

Variations

The TI-99/4 version of the game is more limited than the other versions of the game since it is written in BASIC and not machine language. Many of the characters (Dusty, Marge, Claude, and Lorenzo) are missing from the TI-99 version and there are fewer levels. In their place, a ball will randomly drop from the top of the screen and will knock the slinky off of the playfield if it is hit. Gaps in the playfield will appear from time to time where the ball lands which need to be avoided. On later levels the ball may also chase the slinky similar to Lorenzo; it is possible to lure the ball into a hole or off of the edge of the playfield. The pacing is slightly different as well; while the ball is falling, players are unable to move making the game seem more turn-based compared compared with the other versions.

The Commodore VIC-20 version also replaces the main characters; instead, there is a goblin, ant, hammer, and tongs. Points aren't lost for moving, instead the goal is to earn as many points as possible by jumping on the cubes. Each level is completed when the player has made 20 moves. The VIC-20 version does not have the Hyper-Holes.

Credits

Platform: Atari 8-bit
By: Vance Kozik
Platform: Commodore 64
By: Paul Norman
Platform: Commodore VIC-20
VIC-20 Version by: Jerry Howard
Platform: TI-99/4A
By: Richard Harrison

Documentation

Instruction Manual
Atari 8-bit, Commodore VIC-20, TI-99/4A