Wonderland Dizzy

An Idiot’s Adventures In Gameland – Steve McNeil

22: Victorian London, Dizzy Eggs and an Abominable Snowman!

Hello, dear reader! I hope you are well! Given you’re unable to ask, I shall simply confirm that I am also well, should you be curious. My adventures in Gameland this past week have taken me to some lovely places, so let’s get stuck in…

On Friday, I was over at Ginx to host a live two-hour TV show about the latest Assassin’s Creed game, “Syndicate”, alongside the wonderful Holly Nielsen, Kurtis Simpson and Chris Bond. Short version – if you like Creed games, and/or are even slightly curious about the opportunity to wander round Victorian London – get it. It’s really fun. It’s also not plagued by glitches and bugs in the way last year’s release, “Unity”, was. Although, as an aside, that’s all been patched now so, if you gave up on it, pop back and give it another go – it’s surprisingly fun now the characters have skin on their faces.

On Saturday, I dashed over to the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge for the launch of a Kickstarter Campaign for a book about the history of the Oliver Twins. For those who don’t know, these two brothers were responsible for some of the biggest-selling home computer games in the UK in the 1980s, the most well-known probably being Dizzy the Egg, whom I have no doubt mentioned here before. I had the honour of interviewing them, and another videogaming legend, Archer MacLean, about their work over the years – it was a lovely day! The venue’s worth checking out too. They’ve got pretty much every classic machine in the building and – importantly – you can get your hands on them all and actually play on the original games, rather than experiencing them via re-releases or emulation. Places like these need support to survive so, if you’re ever out that way, drop in!

At the end of the day, the Oliver Twins returned to make an additional announcement and, if you remember Dizzy the Egg, you may want to sit down. It turns out that, earlier this year, they discovered an old floppy disk in their attic which appeared to have finished code for an unreleased Dizzy game, “Wonderland Dizzy”. After some investigation, it turned out it wasn’t quite finished, but a fan of the series, Lukasz Kur, managed to finish it off! You’re probably assuming I’m now going to tell you where you can buy it but, incredibly, rather than make a single penny from it, they’ve chosen to release it, free to play, on a website – you can go there now! www.wonderlanddizzy.com – Truly, they are the loveliest men ever.

Lastly, this week, I’ve got a not-strictly-videogaming-related update. One of the mini-episodes of Disney’s new show, “Mega Awesome Super Hacks”, has been put on YouTube. I filmed a few of these recently and, in this one, I’m an Abominable Snowman. Bit of fun, innit?

Right, that’s pretty much it from me this week. Just a couple of shameless plugs – if you’ve got Virgin Media, my Minecraft TV show “Digging Deeper” continues to air on Ginx TV, Wednesdays, 7.30pm – at the moment it’s getting really good viewing figures so, if you can tune in to help keep that happening, I might get to make more things for them. Which would be handy. I’ve got loads of debts I can’t pay. Also, I’m continuing to do a weekly podcast, Game Friends, with Ian Dransfield, Simon Chong and Chris Slight – if you’d like to give it a listen, head this way.

Thanks guys! See you next week!

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