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Adv: Charlie II [by Wiering]

Game: Charlie II
Release: Jan. 11, 2001
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: Wiering Software
System Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/XP, DirectX 6.0
Price: US $15.00

Charlie II is a refreshing step back into video game history.  This game will remind long-term gamers of the Super Mario and Sonic series when they were each in their infancy.  It heralds back to a time when kids got together, not to beat each other up on video games, but to swap secrets of things they had found in a game.  Starting with Super Mario Bros., there were many games, in which you could play straight through a board set, or, if you were slightly more skilled, you could find every secret a specific board offered.  Super Mario started this tradition by hiding items in blocks, making invisible blocks that would take you away to secret levels, and offering a plethora of hidden items in a board that would take hours to find.

Some point along the line of Video Game evolution, all of that was lost.  Perhaps it was because in a true 3D environment, players can go anywhere, so hidden rooms that can be accessed by running through what you thought was a wall, would be impossible to find.  In any event, for anyone who enjoyed the early days of Sonic and Super Mario Bros., or other games such as Wizards & Warriors by Rare and Bonk's Adventure by Hudson, Charlie II is a treat waiting for you to discover it!

In Charlie II, you play a duck...yah, a duck!?  As you move through the fantasy land, you have only one weapon at your disposal, your big webbed feet.  By jumping on enemies, they will quickly be dispatched.  However, there are some enemies that even the feet won't take them out...for those, all you can do is hope you find an invincibility power-up somewhere.  Your other abilities include being able to run really fast.  If you combine running with jumping, you'll find Charlie will jump a very long distance.  While jumping long distance, you often fly into animals you didn't realize were there.  Ravens and Robins always seemed to give me the most trouble.  Thankfully, Charlie has 3 hearts at the start of each level, each one reflecting one point of damage that you can take from an enemy.  On each of the 3 stages that the levels are part of, you can find an additional heart, giving you 4 total...which is greatly needed as you advance onto the end boss of the stage.

Game play progresses in 2D fashion, with each level starting at the left of the screen and progressing in an entirely haphazard towards the right side of the screen.  Many of the levels provided something of a maze to get through, with levels like the egyptian levels, having large areas that looped if you weren't able to find the correct tunnel out. 

As is the case with any good game of this genre,