Glover

a game by Hasbro Interactive, and Interactive Studios Ltd.

Platform: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64

Genre: Action

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View all 10 Glover screenshots

Along, long time ago, many years before the birth of that miraculous creation we have all come to know as the N64, there was a game called Marble Madness. The object of the game was to guide a small round ball-the marble - through numerous levels filled with cunning obstacles and marble-mangling hazards. Gamers loved it, and nothing since has come close to matching it... until now.

Glover takes the best bit about Marble Madness - the marble - and adds something... a glove. But this is no ordinary glove, oh no. You see (warning, Jackanory moment approaching) once upon a time there was a peaceful land known as the Crystal Kingdom. The kingdom was made up of six unique worlds ruled over by a good wizard from his castle situated in the hub of the worlds. Upon this castle were mounted the seven crystals which gave the kingdom its name. Then one day one of the wizard's spells went wrong, and in the subsequent explosion the wizard was turned to stone and the seven crystals were scattered into the surrounding lands, turning them dark and evil.

To cut a long story short, one of the wizard's magic gloves finds himself outside the castle and must track down the missing crystals and return them home in order to save the Crystal Kingdom.

All's Fair

Which is where the game starts. Your task is to help Glover find all the crystals and bring them back to the cave on the hub world. Fortunately, the crystals are no longer crystalline, having been transformed into small bouncy rubber balls by Glover when the castle exploded to prevent them from shattering. This means that the balls can be bounced, thrown, whacked, and pushed around by said little white glove in order to get them through the six different worlds and back safely to the hub.

Basically, Glover is a 3-D puzzle game. As you progress through the six different worlds, you will encounter all manner of different obstacles which must be dealt with in different ways. Some will require you to activate switches, either with the ball or with Glover himself. Other obstacles might require you to use the ball as a missile, or to transform it into something else.

For the ball doesn't stay in just the one shape, oh no. With Glover's magic you can turn it from the standard rubber ball into a huge bowling ball which can smash through walls, into a magnetic ball which will stick to certain surfaces or back to the original crystal.

The different states of the ball, combined with the number of things that Glover can do with the ball (throwing, bouncing, and so on) mean that there are a massive number of different factors that the game designers have been able to use to create the puzzles.

One of the results of this is that Glover is definitely not an easy game. The ball itself moves incredibly realistically, bouncing, rolling and flying just like a real ball would - it even picks up snow if you roll it through a snowdrift. The simple fact that it has inertia makes the game a joy to play, but a 3-D puzzle game. As you progress through the six different worlds, you will encounter all manner of different obstacles which must be dealt with in different ways. Some will require you to activate switches, either with the ball or with Glover himself. Other obstacles might require you to use the ball as a missile, or to transform it into something else.

For the ball doesn't stay in just the one shape, oh no. With Glover's magic you can turn it from the standard rubber ball into a huge bowling ball which can smash through walls, into a magnetic ball which will stick to certain surfaces or back to the original crystal.

The different states of the ball, combined with the number of things that Glover can do with the ball (throwing, bouncing, and so on) mean that there are a massive number of different factors that the game designers have been able to use to create the puzzles.

One of the results of this is that Glover is definitely not an easy game. The ball itself moves incredibly realistically, bouncing, rolling and flying just like a real ball would - it even picks up snow if you roll it through a snowdrift. The simple fact that it has inertia makes the game a joy to play, but also means that, for example, when you're negotiating your way along narrow platforms it is all too easy to underestimate the ball's movement and plunge to your doom.

...In Glove And War?

Fortunately this sort of thing has been anticipated and strategically stationed throughout the levels are checkpoints. After you've just completed a particularly tricky puzzle or negotiated some hazardous platforms for instance you'll usually find the welcoming glow of one of these, which stops you from going mad when five seconds later you destroy the ball, Glover or both in a foolishly rushed manoeuvre.

The six worlds in the game are all beautifully designed and cunningly thought out. The levels all adhere stridently to the theme of the world they are set in as do the enemies that you encounter on your travels. Emphasis seems to have been placed on both humour and gameplay equally, which is a pleasant surprise as it was beginning to seem that with the N64, a game that was funny couldn't be fun, and vice versa.

You'll Glove It!

Each of the worlds in the game has three normal levels, plus a boss level and a bonus level. The bonus levels can only be accessed by collecting all the small yellow and red tokens that proliferate on every level of the game. It's worth making the effort to go back and find them all though, because each of these bonus levels is effectively a game in itself and should provide endless hours of fun.

On the whole, Glover is an extremely playable and very challenging puzzle adventure, which should take even the seasoned gamers out there some time to finish completely. That said, some people might be turned off by the difficulty level, which is a lot more like what you would have expected to find in computer games some years ago than the 'finished-by-lunchtime' level of play the majority of games seem to have now. Fortunately for anyone who might be put off by this there is an easier level of difficulty for the gaming wimps amongst you, the only restriction being that you can't access the bonus levels from it.

No matter what kind of games you're into, give Glover a try and experience what a real video game is like!

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Glover Downloads

Nintendo 64 Glover download

Very appealing combination of platform game and puzzle, the objective being to bounce magical balls to safety.

reggie posted a review

An inspired, superbly odd idea - where players control a glove and a ball - turns out to be a stonking, but hard, 3D adventure.

reggie posted a review

Highly original platformer. Hair's breadth away from 'classic' status.

reggie posted a review

Because it's so different to any of the other 3D platform pretenders out there. It's not Banjo or Mario (or Donkey Kong or Twelve Tales: Conker 64, when they come out next year), but it is technically accomplished, original and fun. Difficult enough to last you a while as well.

reggie posted a review

It's off to Crystal castle to rescue all of the six crystals. After the Good Wizard caused a huge explosion launching all of the crystals throughout the kingdom, Glover was just barely able to prevent them from shattering by turning them into balls. Now he must complete different levels to retrieve each of the balls. To make matters worse, Glover's brother Cross-stitch is now a being of pure evil and won't be helping Glover in his quest.

Gameplay

Innovative, smart, and clever Glover really tries something new. Instead of the same old cartoon character trying to run and jump through all the obstacles, you control a glove that must push or bounce a ball through each level.

The game has six big sections: Atlantis, Carnival, Pirates, Prehistoric, Fortress of Fear, and Out of This World.

In Atlantis, you get your first shot at navigating the ball backwards. When Glover goes into water with a ball, he quickly stands on the ball to avoid sinking (Glover is not very buoyant). While standing on the ball in order to go forward, Glover must run backward. To go left, he must run right, etc., etc. The boss of Atlantis is Selwyn, a three part monster that must be divided and conquered. First throw the ball at him until you knock out the whale, then fist slam the crab and flying fish. You must wait until the flying fish flies low to get a shot at him.

At the Carnival, Glover must make his way past walls, up slim runways, and figure out how to use each of the gadgets to perform the necessary tasks. In general, each of the gadgets works by putting the ball on the red switch. This is also the level when you will really notice the lack of control over the perspective in which you see the action. You can turn the perspective but this will be blocked by even the slightest presence of an obstacle. You will also find times when you absolutely can't see Glover and you might even get smacked around and lose some lives. Glover could learn from Super Mario World in the visual perspective ability. To beat the boss at the Carnival, Glover needs to hit each of the targets around the room with the ball, then hit the clown on the nose with a well-aimed throw.

In the Pirates area, it's all about the water and you need to hit all the switches around the lake. To hit a switch under the lake you'll need to convert the ball into the ball bearing. One of the switches turns on the water powered platform that you can use to move on. On the second section, work your way around the platforms and hit all the switches, eventually you'll get a platform that will take you to the third section. Work your way through the main path and keep on the lookout for secrets. Remember, you can fist slam the ball to get more height to clear really largest obstacles.

The Prehistoric level contains a snow level with lots of slip-sliding. As you push the ball around snow sticks to it, when it gets too thick, bounce the ball to knock it off. If you see cracks in walls, you can break through them with the bowling ball. If you make it to the next level, you'll find your now in a volcano with lava lakes to cross. Work your way through each of the three sections and fight the big T-Rex. To beat the dinosaur, you'll need to slap the bowling ball towards him. If you're stuck in mid-slap when the dinosaur's fireballs come your way, press Z to get out of the way.

Fortress of Fear brings light and dark effects to challenge you and a little rain to soil your day. The problem to solve in this level involves completing an electrical circuit by pushing around gold blocks into the proper slots in the wiring. The second section is filled with booby traps and puzzles. The third section is very large, moving Glover across large wet rooftops. You'll also get to convert your ball into a large beach ball that can be thrown farther than normal. The boss of this level is a Frankenstein type guy that will chase you as your climb up the walls to hit the switch above.

Out of this World takes you to outer space where there is less gravity. To get really high you need to jump into the jet streams and grab things. From the green lake you can go up a ramp to a ball switch. The ball switch takes you to a fist switch. The fist switch brings platforms out of the green lake, one of which goes up to the UFO. From the UFO you can fire a rocket and open up the exit. The second section is a maze with many timing problems to get through. Section three is a moonbase. Remember that magnets attract the ball bearing and using the magnets, you┬╣ll be able to make it through the level. The bosses of this level are huge robots (look for the door in one of their feet).

The tips are helpful in the beginning but the upper levels leave you without much explanation on how to use the items that must be used to solve each level. The failing in this game is the world development. The little monsters have back and forth patterns and the bosses chase you around the screen. Once you've found all the balls or crystals and defeated the bosses, you can also go back and try to get all of the Garibs, there is a denomination of ten in each level. If you do so, you get to go in the Glover compartment, a glove hall of fame if you wish.

Make sure you do the training mode and practice all the moves. As you move along through the game, you will learn new moves as needed to make it through certain parts of the game. For example, by doing a cartwheel, Glover can squeeze between tight bars. In another situation, tapping the A button will toss the ball high into the air to make it onto high platforms

Graphics

The world is a garden variety 3-D polygon playpen. The graphics could have been better developed. The perspective or sight angles are horrible and while you can move it, it snaps back to an angle you may not like.

Bottom Line

Hasbro's first game shows a lot of creativity and promise. This is a very good game. It would be a great game if the worlds were better fleshed out, the camera angles were easier to maneuver, and the character controls were more intuitive and natural (though I understand this is extremely challenging). Basically, they should have played a few more games of Super Mario World before they called this one done. I would only recommend this game to fairly hard core video gamers who like comic animation games.

reggie posted a review
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