Daily PC Game Review Score:
- Super Granny 2: Granny in Paradise – 7 / 10
- Winter Wonderland – 6.5 / 10
Game Category: Casual – Platformer
Date: 19 Feb 2001
Well, the grand old dame featured in today’s game review is not just any typical grandmother, she’s the tough and spunky little old lady from Super Granny – a platformer type game from Sandlot Games.
Super Granny is back in her very own sequel and it’s called Super Granny 2: Granny in Paradise, a 170 level extravaganza of fun and mayhem. And as a follow-up to Granny in Paradise comes Super Granny: Winter Wonderland, a stand alone expansion that takes her through another 90 levels of platforming fun.
In Granny in Paradise, the game’s story starts off showing Super Granny taking a break. She’s seen dozing on a beach chair in some beautiful tropical island resort. When she awakens, she realises that the tour guide (a baddie in disguise) has cat-napped her little darlings. Similarly for Winter Wonderland, Super Granny is on vacation at a ski resort when her kittens disappear – kidnapped by the evil Dr. Meow.
|The startup screen for both games|
In both Super Granny games, the objective of the game is for you to lead Granny all over the level to rescue her kittens. She does this by walking over them, which triggers the kittens to follow her. The kittens move at random speeds so you must sometime slow Granny down while the kittens catch up. To complete her rescue mission, Granny must lead all kittens to the exit marked with the words “Meow”. Once all kittens have been rescued, a mysterious “exit” flower appears to teleport Granny to the next level.
The first three levels in both games are tutorial levels. They teach you the basics of movement and how to deal with the baddies who chase you relentlessly throughout the game. Also, you must be on the lookout for opportunities to grow flowers – its Granny’s favorite pastime. To do so, you have to move Granny over a tiny green plant which will then blossom into a flower. If you make all flowers bloom, you uncover a super bonus flower that rewards you points.
|The story for both games|
Super Granny is a typical platformer game and reminds me so much of my younger days when I was playing Lode Runner on the Apple II+ computer back in the school’s Computer Club. In Lode Runner, there were guards who were chasing the player, and similarly Granny must survive the level by avoiding enemies such as evil masked Tiki men, cruel gnomes, mean gorillas, mechanical abominations with a kitten trapped within, and irritating unfriendly dogs.
Granny fortunately has an important power, she can dig a hole in front of her to create a trap for the baddies to fall in to. The holes will gradually fill themselves in, and if you time it carefully, you get to kill off the baddies. That is until they reappear again to chase Granny with equal fervor.
|The levels get harder as you progress|
Other than digging, Granny can use tools that sometimes dot the levels – you won’t find this feature in the Lode Runner of yore. There’s quite a variety of tools in the game, they include:
- A watering can which you use to grow something that looks like a beanstalk to me (but it’s called a vine by the developers). You can also use this tool to grow a Killer Tomato plant that gobbles up the baddies for you.
- A key to open locks to reach inaccessible areas.
- An umbrella which allows Granny to maneuver while floating down a chasm – this reminds me so much of Mary Poppins.
- A purse which you can use to wallop away at baddies; I guess there are weights hiding inside this purse.
- A jackhammer to drill through harder surfaces that Granny cannot dig through.
- Bombs that can be used to destroy obstructions.
- A teleporter that allows Granny to move quickly to the corresponding teleporter pad, and
- There’s also an irritating switch (only for Granny in Paradise) that turns off the lights for the entire level leaving only a circle of light around Granny. Get Granny to run over it to turn the lights back on.
|The graphics tileset changes as you progress|
There is an editor provided for in Granny in Paradise. It is the full-fledged level editor that the developers used to create the levels in the game. This is truly a great addition to the game which will surely ensure a long life for the game on our PCs. In fact, there is a level repository on Sandlot’s website where you can snag hundreds more levels for yourself. It is unfortunate that there is no editor available in Winter Wonderland, I would have wanted one for that game as well.
Here are some other things I disliked about today’s two games – firstly, you have to complete all the levels linearly, one at a time, there is no way to skip levels. That get’s real tedious when it comes to progression later on, which leads to the second point. The levels get really difficult as you pass the 100 level mark, and you’d be termed a platformer god when you do cross the 160 level mark. Third, I feel that there are not enough world themes – I am referring to the graphic tilesets, backgrounds, and music. In fact, Granny in Paradise features only 5 worlds across 170 levels, while Winter Wonderland features only 2 worlds across its 90 levels. Finally, there is just too much menu clicking whenever I see the Game Over message before I arrive back to retry the level.
|The full fledged editor provided in Granny in Paradise|
And, when you next hear Bhama Roget who provides the voice for Super Granny, say “Move over Lara Croft, there’s a new girl in town!” again, well you are just going to agree that we must love her for that great grandmotherly impersation.
If you are a platformer fan and find this up your alley, I suggest you get this game right now. But, don’t say I didn’t warn you when you start loosing precious minutes of your life trying to complete the current level of Granny in Paradise or Winter Wonderland!