Top Banana

Title		Top Banana
Game Type	Platform
Published	1992 Hex Media
Compatibility	All
Submission	Paul Burkey (Celebrity Reviewer)

This was Hex's first and possibly last game.  It is a bizarre
example of what happens when a bunch of people from the Music/Video
business decide to create a computer game.  Without taking a close
look many people would consider this an "amateur" attempt and of course
they would be right.  Hex were amateurs in the games industry but why
should that make a difference with entertainment software.  The game
does look very amateurish indeed but not by accident.  The game is
actually very well designed and it certainly goes into my short-list
for classic platformers of all time.  The game was one of the first
(and last?) environmentally friendly, non-sexist games.  It stared a
female character called KT who despite consisting of only 8 frames of
animation she is still one of the most lovable game characters ever.
Hex originated the idea of "pop promo" style videos for computer games
along with a 12 inch single mix of the game soundtrack which was released
simultaneously.  The video for the single also started KT and her
customary lack of animation.  The game itself played with a similar
sense of simplicity which would normally have been a bad thing.  In the
case of Top Banana the simplicity was the key to it's playability.  The
game is very difficult and there is no clever password system or save
game option.  While the design of the game is totally original, the
gameplay is very similar to that of Rainbow Islands where the object of
the game is to reach the top of the level before the waters rise up to
drown your character. In this case the water is of course acid rain and
instead of "cute nasties" you get some rather strange looking objects
including poorly scanned tractors and oddly shaped people.  Top Banana is
a good example of the kind of game that is no longer marketable due to
its simplicity, compact design and concept.  It does nevertheless fill
me with many great memories of the way the games market used to be.  A
first-class example of design, an abundance of top quality fun and that
was enough.

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