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Reviews (N-Z)


983 (1 Player)



Overview and game play

For many years, a popular fairground game has been to shoot a target to win a prize. Most fairs around the world still have a stall with a shooting or target related game, which is perhaps a testament to their popularity. Many fairgrounds had and have sections where arcade games can be played and it is perhaps inevitable that a popular fairground game of shooting moving targets would provide the inspiration for Razzmatazz. The objective of Razzmatazz is to shoot as many targets as possible to attain the highest score through several stages that are like mini-games all based on the “shoot the moving target” theme. The player must control a gun by sliding it left or right along the bottom of the play area. In stage 1, three layers of targets scroll from left to right (or vice versa depending upon which layer they are on). The targets include cans and yellow ducklings that either sit quietly or fly down towards the players’ gun. If a duckling is not shot before reaching the bottom of the play area, it will swallow the players’ gun whole and the player will loose one of the 3 guns he started with at the beginning of the game. If all 3 guns are lost, the game is over.



The first stage continues until all the cans have been shot. Unlike a real fairground where the stall owner may limit the number of bullets the player can use to avoid having to many winners, in Razzmatazz there is an unlimited amount of bullets available. An interesting twist on the game play in Razzmatazz is that once a can is shot it will spin in the air in an arch and it can be repeatedly shot and kept in the air. The stage will not be over until the can is left to fall out of the game area and in the later stages of the game, it becomes important to avoid shooting an object more than once to avoid a gun being lost. Upon shooting all the cans in stage one, stage two begins with a polar bear wearing a T-shirt with “1” on it floating on a raft of ice. The bear leaps on to a large area covered with ice and surrounded by water. Instructions appear on screen telling the player to shoot the bear to eat fish that appear scattered over the ice. Although one would normally think shooting the bear would end its life, this doesn’t happen in Razzmatazz. Instead, the bear spins around and changes the direction it walks in. The player must continue shooting the bear to guide it over the fish. Once the bear touches a fish it disappears and once all the fish have been touched by the bear, the next stage begins back at the shooting gallery in stage one but with more objects. Keeping the bear on the large area of ice can only be done by shooting it, as it does not stop when it reaches the edge of the area. If the bear is not shot, it will walk into the water and one of the players remaining guns will be forfeited. As the bear touches each fish, it will increase its walking pace so the player must quickly plan when it is best to shoot he bear next to collect the maximum number of fish. A random element has been incorporated into the game to improve playability so upon shooting the bear, one does not know for sure which way it will walk so the player must be ready to shoot it again if the bear starts walking towards the water instead of a fish.

Razzmatazz continues in the same way by adding more objects to shoot and gradually increasing the difficulty of the game. In later stages, there is a “Duck Season” stage, where the player must shoot as many ducks as possible. Having an unlimited supply of bullets certainly helps in that stage.



The objects and ducks are all recognizable and not too blocky or simple for 1983, when Razzmatazz was released. Animation of the objects is adequate to show what is happening and the graphics have been presented in a cartoon style. The gun shape stuck sideways in their throat can easily identify ducklings that have swallowed a player’s gun and the flashing lights on the high score table are reminiscent of those found in some fairgrounds and are perhaps an indicator of where the idea for Razzmatazz came from. One point in favour of Razzmatazz over a fairground shooting game is that there is variety in the game and that the ducks actually fly around instead of remaining static while moving along from one side of the game area to the other. However, fairground shooting games still remain popular perhaps because a reward, usually a soft toy, is given to the winners.




None. Razzmatazz may be more playable if sound were added.



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