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Head Over Heels 



Game: Head Over Heels


Publisher: Ocean


Year: 1987



Platform: ZX Spectrum


Ports: N/A


MIDI Music: N/A




Head Over Heels is a computer and video game, first written in 1987 for Z80-microprocessor-based home computers (ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX) by Jon Ritman (game design and programming) and Bernie Drummond (graphics). Due to its huge success, it was then ported to several 8-bit and 16-bit platform (Atari XL/XE/ST, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, etc). The latest remarkable remake of Head Over Heels (for Windows, Mac OS, Linux and BeOS) by Retrospec is available as a freeware on their website: [1]. It was recently voted the second best remake ever by PC Zone magazine.

The original game visually bears a number of similarities with Knight Lore and Alien 8 (from Ultimate, aka Ashby Computer Graphics). The game uses an isometric engine that is similar to the "filmation" technique, first developed by the above mentioned Ultimate. Head Over Heels is the second isometric game by Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond, after the Batman video game.

The game introduces an original concept: the player controls (initially separately) two characters instead of just one. The two characters have different abilities (Head can jump twice as high, control himself in the air, and fire doughnuts from a hooter to paralyse enemies; while Heels can run twice as fast, climb certain staircases that Head cannot, and carry objects around a room in a bag), which become complementary when the player combines them together after about a sixth of the game. Compared to its predecessors, the game offers unique and revolutionary gameplay, more complex puzzles, and more than 300 rooms to explore.

Graphically, Head Over Heels has probably pushed the limits of the ZX Spectrum's display capabilities further than any other game. Drummond contributed some famously surreal touches, including robots (controlled by push switches) that bore a remarkable resemblance to the head of Prince Charles on the body of a Dalek (other peculiar heads included elephants); and staircases made of dogs that teleported themselves away as soon as Head entered the room.

Head Over Heels is remembered by many as a landmark in the computer game industry. In 1994 its authors wrote Monster Max; another isometric video game for the Game Boy. The game, although monochrome, was twice the size of Head Over Heels.



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Head Over Heels screenshots 1        


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