The British games were flowing on the Mega Drive and Mega CD in the mid-90s, and a surprising number of them made it to our shores.
The (Mis)Adventures of Flink will seem immediately familiar to anyone who’s played stuff like Chuck Rock, Lomax, Wonder Dog, Rayman, etc. There’s just something about the UK/European platformers that you don’t find anywhere else in the world. I actually have trouble putting my finger on it, though I’d have to say that part of it is the overall art style – the well-detailed and animated worlds your often-odd looking avatar must navigate all have a similar look to the aforementioned games.
Anyway, as you might expect, Flink is actually an Amiga game. Amiga CD32, to be precise. In it you play the titular protagonist: a wizard’s apprentice on a quest to defeat the evil wizard Wicked Wainwright. It’s all really an excuse to hop and bop your way through a bunch of quite pretty levels and listen to some equally pretty music.
At a glance Flink looks like a pretty standard platformer which borrows elements from both Super Mario Bros and Sonic the Hedgehog. Flink jumps on his enemies to defeat them or can throw objects or other stunned enemies if he likes. If he gets hit, he loses “magic,” and if he gets hit when he has no magic, he dies.
Where Flink stands out, though, is in his spell mixing ability. As he travels around each level, Flink collects various elements and scrolls that can be used to learn and mix up spells. Pausing the game gives Flink some time to whip out his cauldron and mix up the various elements, allowing him to do things like grow plants in order to reach higher areas, create keys to open locked chests, or even create a shield to keep him safe for a short period of time.
It gives an otherwise run-of-the-mill platformer a very unique feel – if you have the right ingredients you’re free to tackle some situations in a number of different ways. That’s not something you usually saw back in the day.
A bit of trivia: The Adventures of Lomax (released in North America on the PS1) bears more than a passing resemblance to this game. The game was actually built by reworking The (Mis)Adventures of Flink. I knew this game felt familiar when I fired it up.