Cool Spot

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Cool Spot
Cool Spot
Cover art (Mega Drive)
Developer(s) Virgin Games USA (MD/GEN)
Virgin Interactive (other versions)
Publisher(s) Virgin Interactive
Designer(s) David Perry
Composer(s) Tommy Tallarico
Platform(s) Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Master System, Game Gear, Amiga, Super NES, Game Boy, DOS
Release date(s) Mega Drive/Genesis
  • EU June 1993
  • JP February 18, 1994
SNES
  • NA September 1993
  • JP December 10, 1993
  • EU February 24, 1994
Master System
Game Gear
Game Boy
Amiga
MS-DOS
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Cartridge
disk

Cool Spot is a mascot for 7 Up, introduced in 1987. During this time, the red spot in the 7 Up logo was anthropomorphized: given arms, legs, a mouth, and sunglasses. British video games developer Virgin Interactive's American studio produced a platform game starring the 7 Up Spot, entitled Cool Spot. It was originally developed in 1993 at Virgin Games USA by David Perry for the Mega Drive/Genesis and Super NES and then ported by other teams to Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Game Boy, Amiga and DOS in 1994.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot of the Sega Genesis version of Cool Spot.

The title is a single-player platformer in which the player controls Cool Spot, who can jump, and attack by firing soda bubbles, which could be shot in all directions and while jumping. Cool Spot could also cling to and climb various things by jumping up in front of them. In each level the player must rescue other cool spots, who look exactly alike, from cages at the end of that level, which is not necessarily the point at the far right of the level map. In order to do so, the player is required to collect a certain number of "spots" that would change (usually increase) as the game progressed. "Spots" were placed across the level in large quantities, and were the game's substitute for items such as the coins in Super Mario Bros or Sonic the Hedgehog's gold rings (these were often used in this style of game, mostly for points and extra lives). A player's health is monitored by a humorous Cool Spot face that gradually bends forward and will eventually fall from its position as damage occurs. Damage is taken by touching enemies, their projectiles, or certain level obstacles. Each level is played with a time limit. If the clock reached zero, a life would be lost regardless of a player's health. If Spot lost a life and had no more lives left, the game would end, taking the player back to the title screen. The game had no save feature but did use checkpoints in the form of flagpoles. Once walked past, the flag would raise and a trumpet would sound. If a player lost a life after reaching a checkpoint, the player could restart further in the game. If the player successfully collects enough Spots to enter the Bonus Stage after defeating a level, it is possible to collect Continues by grabbing a letter hidden within the stage. Depending on the version of the game, all letters either spell "UNCOLA" (7up's slogan), or "VIRGIN" (the game's developer). If a Continue letter is collected, Spot will be able to restart on the level he was on at the time of losing his last life, although his total points will be reset.

Sequel[edit]

While Cool Spot was a side-scrolling platform game, its sequel, Spot Goes To Hollywood, was more 3D in orientation and featured gameplay inside various movies. Despite excellent visuals, its isometric perspective and unusual controls made it an exceedingly difficult game. This game, published once again by Virgin Interactive, was developed by Eurocom. It was released for Mega Drive/Genesis in 1995, Sega Saturn in 1996, and Sony PlayStation in 1997, with the 32-bit versions featuring revamped graphics and different levels than those of the Mega Drive/Genesis version.

7up Spot puzzle game[edit]

Another game featuring the 7up Spot character had been released previously for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, the Game Boy, DOS, the Amiga computer, the Commodore 64, and the Atari ST. This was a version of the puzzle game Ataxx. The NES version, entitled Spot, was released in 1990 by Arcadia Systems, Inc. Coded and Produced by Graeme Devine. Art/Animation and Co-Producer, Robert Stein III.

Version differences[edit]

In the PAL (UK & Europe) release the 7 Up bottle was removed from the intro and replaced by a generic soda bottle of similar colour (albeit lacking the label). Presumably this marketing decision was made to avoid associating the 7 Up Spot with the 7 Up brand, in a region where Fido Dido has been considered the brand's official mascot since the 1980s.

Awards[edit]

  • "Best Cartridge Music of the Year", 1993, Sega
  • "Best Sound", 1993, Electronic Games Magazine [1]
  • 28th best game of all time, Mega.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cool Spot at MobyGames
  2. ^ Mega magazine issue 26, page 74, Maverick Magazines, November 1994

External links[edit]