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Rainbow Islands

The game is a race to the top of the screen before the island sinks to the water.Platformers are quite a common breed in retro gaming, and varied from the quite frankly rubbish to the brilliant. Sure, everybody has heard of the Mario’s and Sonic’s as being the benchmark, but there were other classics in the mix.

Take Rainbow Islands, from Taito. This was the sequel to Bubble Booble, and – whilst not as successful – it’s a classic in it’s own right.

The principle of the game is simple, The 7 Rainbow Islands are sinking into the sea, and the only way to keep them afloat is to retrieve the 7 rainbow diamonds from the guardians of Insect, Combat, Monster, Toy, Doh, Robot and Dragon Island. To defeat the enemies within the game, you need to you fire stars that produce rainbows. These rainbows can be used to defeat or trap enemies, or to climb to the top of the island to complete each level.

Powerups are available to give you some oomph, such as multiple rainbowsIt all sounds rather a bit airy fairy, but this game is tough. You can spend levels building up your skills with power-ups, and in one hit with an enemy, you’re back to square one. Most Taito games have this feature, but it is painful in this game, with over 50 unique power-ups, it can be tricky or even impossible to regain some of the items you have lost.

Nevertheless, you die in this game because you suck. You’re never left cursing the game for dodgy collision detection. It is a very polished game with great music (the original had a remixed version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” which got stuck in my head so many times!), fun graphics and rather addictive gameplay. It’s well worth hunting down and playing for a few hours, as you won’t be disappointed – especially if you’re a fan of Bubble Bobble.

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