Title		Brat
Game Type	General Action
Company		Imageworks/Mirrorsoft
Players		1
Compatibility	A500
Submission	Chris Burns

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

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.

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