Meet our friend GLUF. If you think he is an ordinary frog then you would be mistaken as GLUF is a Tesla frog that can accumulate power from generators. Which comes in handy to power up platforms because…well why not?
GLUF is an arcade puzzle game that sees you guide your frog across all of the platform sections on each level in order to power them up before moving on to the next level. But in order to light up the platform sections, GLUF himself must be charged up and he does this by hopping across to the numerous battery tiles located on each level.
Once powered up, moving across onto a platform section will result in it changing to a colour, denoting that it has been charged up. Each time you light up a panel, GLUF’s power cell reduces by one unit, which means that he will periodically have to recharge in order to complete a level. To make your way around all tiles, you will find yourself taking elevators up and down or standing on disintegrating platforms to give you a way through to what initially looks like inaccessible areas. When you hop across all tiles an exit door appears and you need to make your way to it in order to proceed to the next level.
Eager to prevent GLUF in his pursuit of lighting up each of the game levels are various nasties that provide instant death the moment GLUF comes in contact with them. Initially, the enemies follow a set movement pattern and are quite easy to avoid. But as you get a few levels in, you will start to come across enemies with more sophisticated and somewhat random movement patterns that at times feel like they are honing in on you.
Within minutes of playing the game, it becomes quite apparent that GLUF is quite a fun and addictive game. It is a very well presented featuring bright and detailed multi-colour graphics and great stereo music playing across the AY chip for those playing the game on a Speccy 128K system. The TV transmission graphic used to transition from one level to the next is a nice touch that illustrates the high production values on offer.
Control wise, everything is very responsive. Guiding GLUF around the screen is smooth and quite enjoyable as you get a bit of a flow of movement going.
While GLUF features instant death that requires you to start a level all over again, completing the game’s 24 levels may not take a long time due to the fact that you are given infinite lives. While some may bemoan that the game has limited replay value because of this generous feature, I personally applaud the developer for making the game accessible to casual gamers. Perhaps a compromise could be reached by having an additional difficulty setting providing limited number of lives looking for those hardened gamers looking for more of a challenge. But personally, I am quite happy as it is.
GLUF for the ZX Spectrum is developed by the team from RetroSouls with Denis Grachev providing the main coding duties for the game. Released in digital download from early in January 2019, GLUF is about to receive a physical cassette release via Bitmap Soft and if you haven’t been into collecting new games for Sir Clive’s favourite home computer then I could easily recommend GLUF as a great way to start.
A highly polished arcade puzzler that will endear itself to you the moment you start moving your frog character around the screen. Highly recommended for casual game players.
Retro gaming journalist promoting NEW C64, Amiga, Amstrad CPC & ZX Spectrum games. Runs the Retro Gamer Nation YouTube channel and is a contributor to RVG and Vintage is the New Old blog sites, Komoda & Amiga Plus magazine and various other publications.