If you grew up in the UK in the late 80s, Dizzy was as popular as Mario or Sonic. For real.
Dizzy: a video game series about an extremely fragile egg that jumps, solves puzzles and drowns in two millimetres of water. It was legendary in the UK.
Treasure Island Dizzy, Fantasy World Dizzy, Magicland Dizzy. There were so many of these classic platformers, and today — on the 30th anniversary of the first game’s release, the creators have released a long buried NES port.
It’s called Mystery World Dizzy, a game that was supposed to be released in 1993, but never made it to shelves. It’s available to play online and I’m drowning in nostalgia for the series I once loved, but only half remember.
Mystery World Dizzy was supposed to be released on the NES. In the UK the series was primarily played on the Spectrum or the Commodore 64. Later Codemasters would release a number of games for the Amiga, but that was towards the tail end of its popularity.
The NES was never popular in the UK, but I distinctly remember one NES-owning friend having a Dizzy game on that platform. NES Dizzy games, from what I can remember functioned as ‘best of’ versions of the Spectrum games — they borrowed different elements and puzzles from those games, just slightly reworked. Much of Mystery World Dizzy, from what I’ve played so far, seems super familiar to me. It makes sense. It’s essentially an NES port of perhaps the most famous Dizzy game, Fantasy World Dizzy which I played endlessly on my Spectrum.
Dizzy was created by The Oliver Twins, pretty much single-handedly, they’ve been trying to make a new Dizzy game for a while now, even launching a failed Kickstarter. They might have missed the boat on that one. Most people nostalgic for that series are in their mid-to-late 30s now. Probably too old to drop a ton of cash on Kickstarter.
Mystery World Dizzy was launched alongside an exhibition at the National Video game Arcade in Britain, which celebrates the history of Dizzy. You can play the game online (or download it and play it on a Mini NES!) here.