Fantasy World Dizzy

I knew you'd come to my recsue!

I am only aware of the Dizzy series as 'that one with the Egg man'. I think I've played it in the distant past, and by 'it' I mean 'something with an Egg'. So, let's make that a bit more concrete by actually playing Fantasy World Dizzy.

The titular Dizzy is a walking, talking egg with a desire to flip everywhere - in the movement sense, not that he goes berserk with rage or anything. While walking in the woods, King Troll kidnapped Dizzy's girlfriend Daisy, and in video gaming that can only mean one thing: We must rescue the princess!

Will Dizzy dance his way to Daisy or will those three lives of his be lost quicker than I can cook an egg?

Do you cook eggs? You fry them, don't you? Or boil them.

I don't like eggs, so I don't need to know what to do with them.

Let's get on with it.


You can play the ZX Spectrum version of Fantasy World Dizzy online, and it's easy enough to get into. You've got the ability to move left and right, jump and pick up and use items. Very early on - the first room, actually - you'll get to experience the joys of this inventory system.

At first, and for much of the early stages of the game, Dizzy can only carry two objects. Immediately, there are objects you'll want to pick up to exit the dungeon, but how do you juggle them? Bribery always works on dungeon guards, so toss an apple over to the troll and see if he can help.

Items are used largely as you'd expect, and don't take too much thought in order to work out. The first little puzzle is to chuck some water on a fire. Simple. Then you finally get to the world famous platforming of Fantasy World Dizzy - watching Dizzy flip foooooreeeeeevvveeeeerrrr....

Dizzy can jump a mighty distance and will keep spinning and flipping until his feet find something to land on. This can mean everything from missing pixel perfect landings to having to watch Dizzy fall through three screens before landing anywhere, such is the layout of the castle. Backtracking to retry a jump will occur as often as backtracking to find an item you dropped somewhere in order to pick up another item you hope you needed more.

On your travels you'll find gold coins, some obvious and easy to reach, others a bit of a hassle and others still hidden behind bits of the background, such that you don't really know where everything is until you thoroughly explore your surroundings - while nailing all the jumps and not falling face first into a lit torch or an alligator's mouth.

Yes, it is early on that you're face to face with a timed test of your ability to jump, and boy did those three lives go quickly... Fantasy World Dizzy really does want you to get used to the way Dizzy behaves in order to make any sort of progress - especially with items and locations that change your controls and inputs.

How do I know all this when I got eaten by an alligator? YouTube, of course.

Fun Times

If you know how to play a game it tends to look easy to others, and Fantasy World Dizzy does present itself as an easy little game to get into, but one that brings a lot to the table, at least in terms of the Dizzy series.

The Yolkfolk - Dizzy's friends and family, I assume - make their first appearance, each with their own character. They don't exactly do anything, but they break up the platforming with a smattering of dialogue and give the story that little bit more oomf.

That's probably the wrong choice of words, what with the story being largely irrelevant, but it's there. We're going on a rescue mission, how very noble. And we better be collecting all the coins, because Daisy sure won't forget it if you didn't.

It's a challenge, both mentally and physically, but it's not ridiculously hard and off-putting. Unless it just isn't your kind of game.

Final Word

Playing it isn't terrible, but you can quickly see which frustrations will put you off. It might be the inventory limit, but that's essential for the whole puzzle challenge thing. It might be the way Dizzy flips and how he requires precise inputs in order to get anything done, where failure means a lot of backtracking just for the opportunity to try again, let alone succeed this time.

The music might get on your nerves, the physics - if you can call it that - might throw you one too many times for it to be chalked up to bad luck, but for all its faults, though, Fantasy World Dizzy is a neat little game that could keep you going for an afternoon. It's one I'd still rather watch than struggle through, but I'm glad I finally got to definitely play it.

Fun Facts

Dizzy is a walking egg in order to get the most out of the sprites. A blob with eyes, hands and feet is easy to animate and follow on screen, and frankly, we don't need anything else, provided the gameplay is there.

Fantasy World Dizzy, developed by the Oliver Twins, first released in 1989.
Version played: ZX Spectrum, 1989, via emulation.
Version watched: Commodore 64, 1989 (yahtzee19)