Title Brat Game Type General Action Company Imageworks/Mirrorsoft Players 1 Compatibility A500 Submission Chris Burns Review Brat is an old Imageworks/Mirrorsoft game, brought out in about 1990, and it was a victim of that software company collapsing in the wake of Robert Maxwell's death, so it's maybe not as well known as it perhaps should be. The game starts with a great cartoon sequence: Baby is left in his playroom with his Mum telling him to 'Stay there Baby'. 'Yes Mummy' squeaks the infant in reply. However, as soon as the door closes, sweet little Baby turns into Brat and drawls 'No way Man!' as he brings a hammer down on a nearby clockwork mouse. He then dons his backturned baseball cap, shades and leather jacket (some say that the Brat development team copied their then Imageworks colleagues The Bitmap Brothers' design for The Bitmap Kid in 'Magic Pockets'. Me? I couldn't possibly comment.) to properly accessorise his nappy and picks up his sucker gun, ready for action. In addition to being brilliant at toy demolition and hoodwinking his Mummy, Brat has another trait - he walks through wonderful toy-filled lands in his dreams, and this is where you come in. You must guide Brat safely through each level of his dreamworld until he wakes up again. Each level is isometric and consists mainly of narrowish pathways, suspended above a void, widening out in some places. Brat starts at the top of the level and (because he's sleepwalking) he simply starts walking in a straight line. Unusually, you guide Brat indirectly by picking different icons (arrows, stop signs etc) with the mouse from your control panel and placing them in his path, hence affecting his direction and movement. You only have a set amount of icons but you can pick up more on the way through the level. Of course the screen is forever scrolling downwards so you must keep moving (you die if Brat vanishes off the top, or indeed the bottom of the screen) but there are a (very) small number of 'Stop Scrolling' and 'Scroll Upwards' icons dotted about the game to help with this. Pretty much all the hindrances are toy or child based; little cars, dolls and clockwork mice clutter the first level. On the second level there are playground roundabouts and slides to negotiate and on the third, Brat comes face to face with robots on the Moon. That's as far as I got, so I don't know how many levels there are after that. There are also bridges that must be lowered by walking over pressure pads and so on. Naturally, there are plenty of sweets and other score-boosting objects to pick up, although sometimes you simply don't have the icons to make the necessary detour. Brat never gets to use any weapons (where did his sucker gun go?) but that's because he's asleep, you see - never mix guns with slumber! :-) If you fall off a pathway or something crashes into you, a little Na-na-na-na-naah tune plays and Brat is placed back at the start of the level. If you use up all your lives then a sequence kicks in which shows Brat falling from a great height and crashing into a hole. After much puffing and panting he claws himself out and admonishes you 'You blew it, man!'. Charming! We don't have to do this you know! :-) There is a password system thankfully, so there's no need to replay the whole game to get back to where you were. On the fun side, if you complete a level, Brat does a little arms in the air (like you just don't care) bottom shaking dance (!) before moving on to the next level. Although the game is very child and toy based, it's not really aimed at kids. At least I hope not because it's rather tricky - the mouse/icons control system takes a bit of getting used to and it's quite frantic in that you must always be looking quite a bit ahead of Brat and constantly planning how you're going to negotiate looming obstacles. However, Brat scores highly when it comes to originality and if you're in the right mindset it's a fun game, rather well executed and with neat graphics and animations (though not mind blowing) and an annoyingly catchy in-game tune.