Aldo’s Adventure for DOS

Aldo’s Adventure is a obscure little platform game released for MS-DOS back in 1987 by David and Ben Ibach. It is based upon a much earlier game called Ladder originally released for the Kaypro C/PM systems in the early 80’s. They have used the levels from Ladder with permission, so this is pretty much a port or graphical update for that game really. I found this game on a shareware collection disk that came with my copy of F19 Stealth fighter.

The graphics are EGA, and are reasonably well drawn, but what’s most impressive is the animation. The animation is smooth and flicker free, the player sprite has lots of frames of animation and appears to move quite well. However the barrel animation isn’t anywhere near as nice and there isn’t anything else animated in the game. Like many other small shareware developers, a high resolution mode (640×350) has been used, which means some EGA features couldn’t be used such as page flipping. This means all the screen updates would have to happen during the vertical retrace to avoid flicker, some slower machines wouldn’t cope very well. There is no sound at all.

Game-play wise it is pretty much a slowed-down version of ladder. The controls feel ok,but the pacing of the game feels a bit slow. With so few features, it sometimes feels like there isn’t that much to do, especially after the initial rush of barrels. To be honest because of the slowness the original on the Kaypro looks like more fun. You can find a little video of the Kaypro Ladder here on youtube, and a Java port here.

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