Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Ultimate: The Collected Works - Part 4

Cookie (1983)
By: Ultimate Play the Game  Genre: Action  Players: 1  Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: ZX Spectrum  First Day Score: 4,630
Also Available For: Nothing

Ultimate might be legends in the Speccy world but they weren't perfect. Their last effort - Tranz Am - for example, was rather poor compared to the first two games, but with Cookie they've made a swift return to the simpler, single-screen action/shooty formula that worked so well before. As with those it has a unique and slightly strange concept - this time you're cast as Charlie the Chef who is trying to make cookies. However, his apparently sentient ingredients keep escaping from the pantry and running amok! Once they're out, Charlie must stun them with flour bombs and direct them into his mixing bowl at the bottom of the screen which is marked with a number indicating the required number of ingredients before the level is completed. It's not quite that simple though!

Hapless (but still dangerous) yellow blobs on level one...
Either side of the bowl are dustbins in which resides a 'bin monster' who throws rubbish all about the place. If any of these erroneous items get in the bowl, the required number of ingredients goes up. Plus, if any rubbish or ingredients touch Charlie he loses a life. So the food is not only sentient but also murderous - jeepers! Actually, such is their malevolence, when I first starting playing I thought the ingredients were enemies - I was wondering when the damn food was going to make an appearance! Suffice to say, I didn't make much progress to start with but it's not too tough as it turns out - make it through five levels, each of which is home to a different ingredient (which don't really look like food), and you'll have successfully made a cookie! And then it's back to the first level to do it all again.

Lord knows what food these green fuzzy things are...
Despite what my early idiocy might indicate, Cookie is even simpler to play than Ultimate's first two games. Like them, each new level brings with it a unique enemy who moves/acts differently. Control over the eerily-headless Charlie is decent enough though, so taking care of these angry foods is rarely too taxing. Hitting them with flour-bombs stuns them, forcing them to continue on in the direction you hit them, so if you just stand at the top of the screen directly above the bowl firing away, dodging the occasional interloper, you should find things as manageable as I did. It's good fun too. The graphics are typically colourful and there are some nice sound effects. The only problem really is the lack of variety. There's no equivalent of switching between Pssst's different spray cans here, for example - Cookie is much more of reaction-testing button-stabber, but it is a mighty pleasing one all the same.

RKS Score: 7/10


  1. Interesting - I have never even heard of this one. I laughed though at the "which don't really look like food" portion - ah, the graphical limitations of yesteryear. :)

  2. Haha, thanks :) The fourth stage features triangular yellow ingredients which could be either cheese or pizza I suppose (although neither is used to make real cookies as far as I know) but the rest? Those green fuzzy things above put me off eating cookies for real :(