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Super Gran

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Super Gran
Super Gran.jpg
Protagonist(s): Super Gran
Genre(s): Action
Platform(s): Commodore 64
Commodore 16
Commodore Plus/4
Amstrad CPC
ZX Spectrum
Release: 1985
Developer(s): Donald Campbell (ZX Spectrum)
David Black (Amstrad CPC)
Michael Woodroffe (Commodore 64)
Ian Davidson (Commodore 16)
Publisher(s): Tynesoft
Country: United Kingdom
"Next up is Super Gran for the Spectrum. It's the last appearance for the almighty Tynesoft, but it may just be their worst one yet. Again, you have to get over the existence of a game based on a show where an octogenerian granny obtains special powers and is thrust into saving the world, or at least, the town she's in, from the machinations of the evil Skunner Campbell and company. But after that, you have to contend with the game itself. The music's probably the first thing that hits you, because it's one of the worst beeper creations of the lot, acutely paintful to listen to. And like so many Tynesoft titles, it can't stick to one form of gameplay. There's flying in a gyrocopter and shooting busters down, flying left and picking up fuel, driving along, platforming. Of course, all of them are terrible. At no point does the game show anything that's even remotely approaching competence. It completely stinks at every step, and as such, it's a fine way for Tynesoft to sign off from this list."
Kim Justice


Super Gran is an action video game released for the Commodore 64, Commodore 16/Plus/4, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum in 1985, published by Newcastle-based studio Tynesoft. It is based off the British TV show of the same name produced by Tyne Tees Television, which in itself was based off a series of books of the same name by Forrest Wilson.

There were two games based on the Super Gran license released by Tynesoft: one's a text adventure known as Super Gran: The Adventure, and the other one being an action game simply titled Super Gran, which this page will focus on.

Description

A truly amazing game with superb graphics on 8 action packed screens. See if you can help Super Gran to crush that Evil Skunner Campbell and his boys Tub and Rent-A-Muscle.

Why It's A Prevailer of Absolute Rubbish

  1. False advertising: The game claims to have 8 levels, but the game actually has only 4 levels, as the last 4 levels are just repeats of the first 4 levels, just with a garbled up sprite of Super Gran on the ZX Spectrum version, and it wrongfully states that this is "a truly amazing game".
  2. The controls are really bad.
  3. All of the four levels (or sheets, as they're called) are awful and quite difficult due to terrible controls.
    1. The first level involves Super Gran in her Skimmer shooting down baddies in other Skimmers, whose projectiles are very difficult to avoid, they can get shot down in one hit (including Super Gran's) and the Skimmers spawn out of nowhere in the CPC version.
    2. The second level involves Super Gran flying around collecting cats before they get run over by cars to gain enough superness, while avoiding hot air balloons and airplanes before her fuel runs out. It's annoying, because the enemy airplanes and balloons constantly get in her way, and everything moves way too fast in the C64 version to make it beatable without cheating.
    3. The third level has Super Gran driving down a road and chasing someone, and her car can't touch the enemy vehicle or the side of the road without causing her to lose a life. The road is also pretty narrow, and the cars are way too big in the C64 version, again, making the section unbeatable without cheating.
    4. The fourth level involves Super Gran climbing to the top in an underground mine and escaping while the mine slowly floods and a helicopter attempts to drop bombs on her.
  4. The music is terrible, as it frequently loops and cannot be turned off (except for the C16 version, which has no music).
  5. The graphics are not very good, as they're all presented as single-colored sprites, even in the Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC versions, which is a far cry from the "superb graphics" claim in the description.
    • The graphics flicker constantly in the Amstrad CPC and C16 versions, and the latter verson's sprites lack transparency.
  6. The C16 and Amstrad CPC versions have very choppy framerate.
  7. The controls are very unresponsive. In the Amstrad version, it's very difficult to redefine the controls if you're using a joystick, since pushing on the joystick in any direction counts as two inputs for whatever reason.

Reception

The Super Gran game received negative reviews from the magazines of the time, with Home Computing Weekly giving the C64 version a rating of 1 out of 5. Crash magazine rated the ZX Spectrum of Super Gran 43%, criticizing its graphics and gameplay, and calling the game a "waste of money".

Videos

Trivia

  • The Super Gran game was advertised to come out on the BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, MSX, Tatung Einstein and the Atari 8-bit systems, but those ports were never released.
  • At one point, Super Gran was given away in a free game pack by Dixons for the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC.

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