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Pushover (video game)

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Pushover is a platform puzzle game developed by Red Rat Software in 1992 for the Amiga, Atari ST, DOS and Super NES. Ocean Software published the game. The game was sponsored by Smiths' British snack Quavers, where the game plot revolved around the Quavers mascot 'Colin Curly' losing his Quavers packets down a giant ant hill (Walkers has since bought the Quavers brand and Colin Curly is no longer used as a mascot). It is then up to the Pushover character 'G.I. Ant', a large soldier ant, to go inside the ant hill and recover the Quavers.

In the SNES version of the game, the aim was to recover bundles of cash dropped down the ant hill by Captain Rat.

Gameplay

The playing field consists of a number of platforms, interconnected by ladders. Most of the platforms hold dominoes. G.I. Ant can rearrange and move them, by carrying one domino at a time. He is allowed to push one domino, and this single push should result in all of the dominoes falling, which opens the exit to the next level.

There are various factors that can cause a level to not be completed. As well as toppling all of the dominoes in each of the 100 levels, G.I. must be physically able to gain access to the exit door once the dominoes have fallen. If a ledge leading to the exit has been destroyed, or a gap leading to the exit has not been bridged, or if a line of dominoes lie across the exit, G.I. will be unable to reach it.

Each level also has a time limit during which it must be completed. If the time runs out, however, the player is still able to continue playing if they wish to attempt toppling all of the dominoes. By pausing the game once the time has run out, a small hint will be displayed, giving advice on how to complete the level. As a side note, the hint for level 98 informs the player that the game's designer cannot remember how to complete the level.

G.I. may also die by falling from a large height, by falling off the bottom of the screen, or by being crushed under a falling domino. The player is then greeted with the message "You Failed, You Died" and has to restart the level.

The final way a level can be failed is if any dominoes are destroyed, creating rubble. This happens when a domino lands on top of another domino. The level then has to be restarted.

The game features nine different worlds in which levels are set, including an industrial area, an Aztec temple, a space station, inside a computer, a Greek building, a castle, a Meccano-themed world, a dungeon, and a Japanese house, all with their own background music. A packet of Colin's Quavers is retrieved after each world, making nine packets in all to be collected. The level 100 is a special bonus level after you have collected all the packets. Most levels in first world (industrial) are tutorial and they show how will act each type of domino.

A password system allows the player to continue an earlier game. The player also gains a token upon completing a level. Tokens may be used once a level has been failed, allowing the player to return to the point before the domino push, rather than having to return to the initial state of the level.

Dominoes

Of course, there are different types of dominoes in the game, each with special abilities. The different dominoes are identified by various red and yellow patterns.

Standard (all yellow): These are the most common domino and simply fall when pushed over, knocking over adjacent dominoes or falling off the ledge. If two dominoes on opposite sides of a small gap both attempt to fall through at the same time, they will become lodged together, forming a "bridge" across the gap, although G.I. cannot use them to walk over the gap.

Stopper (all red): These dominoes refuse to be toppled, rebounding any other dominoes that fall against them. They can however be picked up and carried by G.I. These are the only dominoes in the game that do not need to be pushed over in order for the level to be completed.

Delay (diagonal red / yellow divide): These act in exactly the same way as a Standard domino, but remain standing for a short while before falling over. In this short period they act as if they were a Stopper, with other dominoes bouncing off them.

Ascender (one vertical red stripe): These blocks defy gravity, and will float upwards when hit by another block. They continue to rise until they meet the underside of a ledge, at which point they lie flat against the ceiling in the direction they were hit. If G.I. walks off a ledge holding an ascender domino, it floats up to the ceiling and then needs to be pushed by another domino in order to complete the level. Ascender dominoes can be discarded before the push if they are not needed by walking off a ledge with them and letting them float off the screen.

Bridger (one thin horizontal red stripe): Bridger blocks act in the same way as a Standard block, however when a bridger falls off the edge of a ledge where the gap is only one "space" wide (where you would be able to fit one domino), it will extend the ledges and bridge the gap.

Exploder (vertical red / yellow divide): Essentially the opposite of Bridger dominoes, when hit this domino will explode, creating a gap in the ledge one "space" wide. The explosion does not damage other dominoes or G.I., however it can damage ladders and make them impossible to climb. The resulting gap in the ledge may also make it impossible for G.I. to reach the exit, forcing the player to restart the level.

Vanisher (two horizontal red stripes): Vanisher dominoes disappear as soon as they land. This is often useful in situations where the domino "run" needs to lead past the level's exit. The vanisher leaves a gap in the line of toppled dominoes, allowing G.I. to access the exit.

Splitter (horizontal red / yellow divide): The Splitter domino divides into two separate dominoes when it is hit. If a Splitter is located in a line of toppling dominoes, when it is hit, one half will continue the chain whilst the other half will fall backwards, creating rubble and thus failing the level. To use Splitters properly requires the dropping of any style of domino from directly above, causing it to divide and start two new domino chains. A Splitter domino's best use is as an effective "free push". Whilst G.I. may only push once per level, chains may still be started off by walking off a ledge whilst carrying a domino, causing the domino to fall onto a Splitter placed below.

Tumbler (one thick horizontal red stripe): Tumbler dominoes act in the same way as a Standard domino, however when a Tumbler domino lands on the floor, it flips up again and falls, effectively rolling along the ledge. This allows a chain of dominoes to continue across gaps where there are no dominoes.

Trigger (three horizontal red stripes): In a sense the most important domino, the Trigger domino must always be the final domino to fall, and must always fall exactly flat (i.e. it must not land on top of another fallen domino). This causes the exit to open to allow G.I. through. Occasional levels in the game have multiple Trigger dominoes, which must fall at (roughly) the same time.

The dominoes in level 100 all appear to be Standard yellow dominoes, and must be tested to find out which dominoes they are.

References

External links

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