I've been having great fun with Evercade so I should share my thoughts on another delightful compilation. Here are The Oliver Twins!
Who are The Oliver Twins?
Growing up in Canada, I actually haven't heard of The Oliver Twins until perhaps a few years ago. I'm not exactly sure why I've never come across them before; either their library of games was only available in Europe or it simply wasn't popular here. Whatever the case, I'm glad that I now know who they are and the fact that I can play 11 of their games on my Evercade is pretty cool indeed.
Anyway, for the unfamiliar, The Oliver Twins developed many games over the decades and their most notable series is Dizzy which consists of mostly adventure games that follow the classic point and click format although they're streamlined for console. That being said, they've created many non-adventure games as well and it's really quite impressive how well a lot of them have held up.
Dizzy adventure games
First up, we have 5 adventure games starring Dizzy which actually span 30 years as Treasure Island Dizzy released in 1988 and Mystery World Dizzy debuted just a few years ago in 2018. Meanwhile, Dizzy the Adventurer and The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy originally came out in 1992 and Wonderland Dizzy is another modern reboot for the series which became available in 2015. For the most part, I found these games to be quite delightful and it was very fun to piece together the puzzles by managing my inventory and using items in clever ways in order to work past tricky situations. There are definitely some head-scratching moments, though, so be warned.
List of games in The Oliver Twins Collection
- Treasure Island Dizzy
- Wonderland Dizzy
- BMX Simulator
- Dizzy the Adventurer
- Dreamworld Pogie
- The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy
- Go! Dizzy Go!
- Mystery World Dizzy
- Panic Dizzy
- Super Robin Hood
Every included title is a NES game
In addition to solving puzzles by collecting and utilizing items, there are also platforming elements and a few titles feature nifty gameplay mechanics such as the ability to swap between 2 characters and a variety of mini-games. In the end, I found these games to be quite a lovely throwback to the good old NES days when games could be fun to simply boot up and tinker around with until you figure out the gameplay intricacies as well as work out their clever puzzles on your own even if the controls can be cumbersome at times.
On top of the 5 included adventure games, there are also a couple of Dizzy spin-offs and I enjoyed both of them quite a lot. First, Go! Dizzy Go! is a sort of Pac-Man style game where you run around overhead mazes while trying to snag flashing fruits and outrun patrolling enemies. It has cool bonus rounds, too, where you slide on ice and try to get every fruit before the time expires. Meanwhile, Panic Dizzy plays like Magical Drop where you grab and throw tiles to form various configurations of them and it features an assortment of fun modes, too. I'm very happy that they included these 2 spin-offs because both are quite entertaining arcade-style games.
Last but not least, we have 4 non-Dizzy games. BMX Simulator is a pretty fun overhead racing game that plays like Super Sprint which is always a plus in my book. Perhaps the best game in this collection is Dreamworld Pogie which is a classic 2D platformer. Even though it's for NES, it reminds me of those old DOS Games which feature wacky stage designs and unconventional mechanics. It's a lot of fun and trying to collect all the stars can be tricky business. Next, FireHawk is quite a clunky overhead helicopter sim that hasn't held up well; definitely for existing fans only. Finally, we have Super Robin Hood which is a charming game although playing it can be quite frustrating due to hidden hazards, stiff controls, and tedious puzzle mechanics. It's another one only for those with fond memories of it.
The Oliver Twins Collection is certainly a solid grab bag of 8-bit treasures so if you're looking for a variety of NES games that you may not have played before then you'll enjoy what this compilation has to offer, especially if you like adventure games.
- + The Dizzy adventures are cute and feature puzzles that are fun to figure out
- + Enjoyable BMX racing and Dizzy spin-offs
- + Dreamworld Pogie is a great hidden gem
- - Some parts of the adventure titles will make you scratch your head
- - A few of the games aren't all that fun
- - Controls can be cumbersome