The Review

Genre: Platformer
Along with The Lion King, this was my 1st Mega Drive game. One which Iíd played before I got the console for Christmas in 1994. I remember the day I found it at the old Grace Broís store in Sydney. I was so excited to get it. I think Iíd looked around at quite a few places too before I found it.
The graphics are fairly vibrant and colourful, although some of the levels use a bit of recycled stuff later on. Itís surprising to think these days that you could get a game into 1 MB, but thatís all it is.
All of my screenshots for the review are from the game on emulation, mostly to keep the file size down and clarity up. I do still own the real cartridge too however. Unlike a lot of stuff, it was actually made here in Australia.
Cool Spot was done by Dave Perry, the same chap behind the likes of the well known Earthworm Jim. The game also appeared on PCs for DOS, Game Gear, SNES & the Master System to name a few systems.
The idea of the proceedings is to collect up 30, 60 or 90 Cool Points, depending on your choice of difficulty, and then rescue your Cool Chums from their caged existence at the end of each level. If you get there without the right amount, youíll see a big Cool Hand pointing back to the rest of the level. Collect 75, 85 or 99 Cool Points, again depending on the difficulty, to get a chance at the Bonus Game. This takes place in a soft drink bottle ó in the case of the American game, 7Up. The European version however has no association with the soft drink company at all. A cool point comes from a Cool Counter, a spinning red disc in the level. Often youíll see a Super Cool Counter, which has 7 Cool Points in one. These have the Virgin ďVĒ on them. Another handy collectible is the Cool Glass, a refreshing, bubbling little drinky that brings back some of Cool Spotís health. The ones which appear from enemies float upwards, and you need to be snappy in getting them before they disappear for good. Stopwatches give you an extra 30 seconds, and 1-UPs are also about the levels. Some stages have balloons to hang onto, Bouncy Bubbles to bounce off of, surprisingly enough, and Blobby Bubbles which you can float up inside of. Now and then are Restart Flagpoles which are a checkpoint incase you snuff it. There are also nifty regular size Cool Hands about the level which point the way to go. A lot are shown by collecting Cool Counters.
The bonus levels all contain a Cool Letter of the word VIRGIN, which are usually in a difficult spot to get to, and right at the top of the bottle. Cool Spot will push them into place if you manage to get them. These are your redemption should you lose all your lives. Youíll be able to continue on from the current level, but your score will go back to 0.
Getting hurt will peel the health spot off, and when you lose a life, Cool Spot will fall down with his glasses coming down and smacking him on the face. You can die instantly by falling into water or into an area with no floor.
You can score yourself an extra life if you collect all 100 Cool Points in the levels and also when you get 50000, 75000 or 100000 points, depending on the difficulty. This setting also affects various things which appear in the levels as well.
After a few moments of not doing anything, Cool Spot will start up some amusing animation, such as cleaning his glasses, playing with a yo-yo or even yawning a huge yawn. If you have enough lives to spare, you can wait until the time runs out and then shoot the lock on the cage to get a huge time bonus.

Even the Sega word gets Cool Spot appearing from behind.
At the start of the game, you get to see this piece of paper that Cool Spot found.
Grab that Super Cool Counter for 7 points!
Cool Spot marches on to tackle some spiders.
You need to take it carefully up here.
Thereís a handy Cool Glass!
Spotty moves the V into position.
Inside the carriages is safer in Loco Motive.
Radical Rails has a lot of sliding and vacuum tube action.

On Easy, the game isnít overly hard to complete. If youíre a platformer fanatic, Cool Spot will probably be pretty easy for you. That said, the controls are great, the frame rate is smooth and the collision is mostly pretty good. I feel that some of the levels are a bit unbalanced in terms of difficulty, especially Wading Around and Loco Motive. The only level with no Uncool Characters is Radical Rails, which does give you a break from fighting the nasties.
Cool Spot later returned in Spot Goes To Hollywood, which made its sexiest appearance on the Saturn, but it did also appear on the Mega Drive. I never had the game, but most people regarded it as a bit of a let down from the original.
Graphics: Cute characters, and bright colours all around. Some of the stuff is a bit dithery here and there, but all in all, it looks quite well presented. 80%
Animation:
Quite smooth all around. The enemy actions are generally pretty good as well. 87%
Sound:
Catchy tunes and an extensive range of great sound effects, all of which you can sample in the options. Cool Spot sounds particularly cute. 93%
Playability:
Easy to get into, and with controls that can be set up as you like, it feels quite natural after a while. As it only uses 2 buttons, you can use the 3 button controller quite comfortably. 92%
Lastability:
Even after 16 years and a bit, I still find myself playing this now & then. Beating your high scores will tempt you back if youíre patient enough to play right through it. Youíll need to write them down however, as the game doesnít save anything. 74%
Overall:
Definitely a recommended buy if you can still find it somewhere. 91%

Cheats:

In the options screen, press A, A, B, B, C, C, C, C, B, B, A, A, A, A, B, B, C, C. If you do it on the difficulty setting, it will go back to how you originally had it. You can then see a lovely picture of David Perryís head. Following that, you can choose infinite lives, which level to start on and Freezeability. This keeps the music playing, but lets you stop everything with the start button temporarily.
During the game, press A, B, C, B, A, C, A, B, C, B, A, C to skip the entire level. This seems to make you invincible also. You donít need the 1st cheat to use this.

See my nifty Cool Spot fan art over at deviantArt: Piccie 1 Piccie 2