• Graeme Mason

Antstream Arcade Goes Dizzy Crazy With The Oliver Twins

Part One: The Game’s No Yolk


It’s been 35 years since 8-bit wonderkids The Oliver Twins, Andrew and Philip Oliver, first created

that marvellously cute ovoid hero Dizzy. With many of his adventures available to play for free on

Antstream Arcade, join us as we run through all the Dizzy games on our platform with the thoughts from The Oliver Twins on each one. Let the eggstravaganza begin!


Dizzy – The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure

Year: 1987

Antstream Arcade Top Scorer: CmdrCrunk – 86600 points

Plot: In his first game, Dizzy is on a quest to defeat the evil wizard Zaks by collecting an assortment of strange items for a potion. Retailing for a pocket-money-friendly £1.99, Dizzy got his name from the spiralling tumbles and somersaults he performs throughout the game.

The Oliver Twins say: “Our idea was to re-use most of the code and techniques developed for [Super Robin Hood and Ghost Hunters] and give them a new setting. We were big fans of cartoons and wanted to create our own unique character with a big personality. The setting was inspired by classic fantasy from Tolkein to Dungeons and Dragons.”


Treasure Island Dizzy

Year: 1988

Antstream Arcade Top Scorer: grams, clans and nightmaretedbear4 – all 222,222 points

Plot: Following the first game’s success, Dizzy was soon back in another puzzling adventure. This

time he’s stuck on a treasure island – can he escape, preferably nabbing some treasure in the

process?

The Oliver Twins say: “Our focus this time was to develop more vertical adventuring and this was

achieved by adding the treehouse, clearly inspired by the Ewok village from Star Wars. On the last

day of testing, we discovered a terrible flaw in our design: it was too easy to die by dropping the

snorkel underwater, leading to repeated deaths. We made the harsh decision to only give the player one life, which we regretted.”


Fast Food Dizzy

Year: 1989

Antstream Arcade Top Scorer: Yesterquest – 1967 points

Plot: In the first of several spin-offs, the player guides Dizzy around several mazes, gorging on food and avoiding monsters.

The Oliver Twins say: “One of the games that got us obsessed with computer games was Pac-Man and we’d always tried to produce maze games in our early days. We had the idea of writing a maze game featuring Dizzy over a single weekend! With very little sleep, everything went quite well and all the code and maps were completed by Monday morning. We then spent another week adding presentation and music while improving the graphics.”


Fantasy World Dizzy

Year: 1989

Antstream Arcade Top Scorer: n/a

Plot: This return to the main Dizzy series introduces the Yolkfolk (including Dizzy’s girlfriend, Daisy), more lives and an improved inventory system. Dizzy has to rescue Daisy from the clutches of the evil King Troll.

The Oliver Twins say: “Having seen the spectacular success of Treasure Island Dizzy, we knew we had to produce another Dizzy game. We re-introduced three lives and the Yolkfolk, all of whom need help. We had a great story set in a fantasy land, borrowing ideas from the classic tale Jack And The Beanstalk – we even managed to squeeze in two dragons!”


Kwik Snax

Year: 1990

Antstream Arcade Top Scorer: NoodleBeefNoodle – 44150 points

Plot: It’s spin-off time again with another frantic maze game. Stuck in the Land Of Personality, Dizzy dodges the minions of the evil Wizard Zaks to rescue the Yolkfolk – again!

The Oliver Twins say: “Fast Food Dizzy did really well so we designed Kwik Snax as a follow-up. We decided to pass it over to Lyndon Sharp to do the programming, and he and artist Chris Graham did a great job. We produced a NES version called Go! Dizzy Go!”


Magicland Dizzy

Year: 1990

Antstream Arcade Top Scorer: n/a

Plot: It’s fortunate Dizzy loves his friends because the cunning wizard Zaks has bewitched them,

spiriting his chums away to Magicland. Fantastic locations such as Weirdhenge and Prince

Charming’s castle make it time to crack on and rescue the Yolkfolk once more.

The Oliver Twins say: “Dizzy was still popular on UK home computers, so we teamed up with our

good friends Big Red Software to produce this game from some basic ideas we gave them. They did an excellent job of creating a great game that was a natural progression of the Dizzy series and

another huge hit.”


That’s it for part one of our Dizzy celebration! Watch out next week as we round off the final few

Dizzy games available to stream, for free, on Antstream Arcade.

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