Scooby-Doo (video game)
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|Scooby Doo in the Castle Mystery|
Commodore 64 box art for Scooby Doo in the Castle Mystery
(Greg Follis, Roy Carter)
|Publisher(s)||Elite Systems Ltd|
Scooby-Doo (also known as Scooby Doo in the Castle Mystery) was a video game based on a television character of the same name. The game was developed in 1986 by Gargoyle Games for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and the Commodore Plus/4 personal computers.
A much-hyped game, Elite first started advertising this from around Autumn 1985. The advert billed the game as "the first ever computer cartoon" and featured some mouth watering screenshots. Issue 21 of Crash carried a full preview of the game.
The game was to feature all the characters from the cartoon and was set in a Scottish castle owned by Shaggy's auntie. The castle is haunted and Scooby and the gang have 48 hours to solve the mystery. The game is said to "feature seven or eight action sequences which are separated by descriptive scenes in which characters in the game interact by meeting together and having a chat..."
"In the action sequences you will follow Scooby and Shaggy as they search the castle and need to help them solve (or avoid) problems as they arise and generally guide them on their way. You drive the action in the game, acting rather like a film director, taking decisions which affect the outcome of events. After each action sequence has been played through, the scene will fade to a descriptive section where you eavesdrop on conversations and can pick up clues, tips and hints which will help you solve the mystery."
The game was scrapped as the Spectrum was not capable of handling such an ambitious project. Issue 47 of Sinclair User reported: "while the graphics in the game ... are supposedly unbelievable the game is a shambles. Lack of memory has been blamed for the failure to release the game". Elite were, however, supposedly considering releasing the game for the 128K Spectrum.
'First time I saw this on the Amstrad, I thought that it was an extremely playable game. The Spectrum version is equally so, if not more. The scrolling isn't super smooth, and the lack of tune is a little disturbing, but the graphics are excellently animated, and the game plays superbly. Addiction is almost certainly to be found, and the game represents very good value for money. Even though it's been ages in the making, and the finished version is completely different from the screen shots seen all those long months ago, Scooby Doo is a really cool arcade game, well worth getting.'
'This is obviously not the game promised by ELITE some time last year, but it was definitely worth the wait as it is tremendously playable and ever so compelling. The graphics really are first-class: the many large and well defined characters move around the castle admirably and the castle itself is very pretty. Sound wise this game rates fairly highly as there are many excellent spot effects during the game - sadly there isn't a tune on the title screen but the front end is so good that a tune isn't really necessary. I strongly recommend this game as it is addictive and great fun to play too.'
'After the long wait for Scooby Doo it would take something fairly special to justify the time spent on it. This game manages to impress after the first couple of goes but it doesn't contain anything to keep the brain cells electrified for long. I found Scooby Doo looked very attractive to the eye and the idea of buffing and boffing all the characters - which didn't look too much like ghosts - proved quite exciting for a while, but this required no real skill. The animation of all the graphics is very smooth and accurate, and the screen scrolling is very silky (!?!). Scooby sound is not very startling and has very little tunewise. The game bases itself on the TV series superbly with all the folks from the team in it. Unfortunately I didn't find it extremely enthralling ... but it's certainly playable. Have a look before you buy.' 
- Crash Magazine, Issue 33, October 1986