|Platform(s)||Arcade, NEC PC Engine, Sega Saturn|
|Arcade system||Taito F2 System|
Liquid Kids[a] is a 1990 platform arcade video game originally developed and published by Taito. Starring the platypus Hipopo, players are tasked with travelling through the land of Woody-Lake throwing water bombs, jumping on and off platforms to navigate level obstacles while dodging and defeating monsters in order to rescue Tamasun from her captor, the Fire Demon. Although first launched in arcades, the game was later ported to other platforms, each one featuring several changes compared with the original version, in addition of being re-released through compilations and digital distribution services for various consoles. Conversions for microcomputers were in development but none were officially released to the public.
Liquid Kids enjoyed success in arcades among players, garnering positive reception from critics, while its home conversions were also met with similarly positive response from gaming magazines who reviewed it as an import title.
Liquid Kids is a platform game where players assume the role of Hipopo, a platypus (referred as a hippopotamus) who fight his way across various stages set in the land of Woody-Lake against enemies led by Fire Demon in search of his missing girlfriend Tamasun while rescuing other platypuses along the way. Hipopo is armed with water bombs that can be thrown at enemies to soak and damage them. Once soaked, enemies can be kicked and destroyed completely. Undefeated enemies will dry out and recover after a short time period. Small plants also appear on certain levels which can be "watered", causing them to grow and creating new platforms. He can also collect cakes and other items to gain more points. Getting hit by enemies results in losing a live, as well as a penalty of lowering Hipopo's status to his original state and the game is over once all lives are lost, unless players insert more credits into the arcade machine to continue playing.
Liquid Kids was first released in arcades by Taito on August 1990, using the Taito F2 System board. The soundtrack was composed by Kazuko "Karu" Umino. On January 21, 1991, an album containing music from the game and Space Gun was co-published exclusively in Japan by Scitron and Pony Canyon. The title was first ported to the PC Engine by Taito and released exclusively in Japan on January 17, 1992. It is a faithful conversion that retains most of the gameplay elements from the arcade original but a number of graphical effects were removed such as the time transitions and parallax scrolling. This version would later be re-released for the Wii's Virtual Console in 2008. A near-arcade perfect port was developed and published by Ving for the Sega Saturn on October 22, 1998. It was also included in the Taito Legends 2 (Taito Memories 2 in Japan) for Xbox, PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Windows in 2006. An Amiga port was completed by Ocean France, but not released by Ocean Software. Likewise, an Atari ST version was also in development but never released by Ocean.
|Consoles +||(PCE) 85%|
|Gekkan PC Engine||(PCE) 80/100|
|Génération 4||(PCE) 92%|
|Marukatsu PC Engine||(PCE) 29/40|
|PC Engine Fan||(PCE) 21.91/30|
|Player One||(PCE) 88%|
|Sega Saturn Magazine (JP)||(Saturn) 6.0/10|
|Sinclair User||(Arcade) 81/100|
|Your Sinclair||(Arcade) 90°/100°|
In Japan, Game Machine listed Liquid Kids on their November 15, 1990 issue as being the seventeenth most-successful table arcade unit of the year, outperforming titles such as Parodius! From Myth to Laughter and Magic Sword. The arcade original was also met with positive reception from critics since its initial release. The PC Engine conversion was met with positive reception from critics.
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