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The Magic Roundabout
Box artwork for The Magic Roundabout.
Developer(s)CRL Group PLC
Publisher(s)CRL Group PLC
Designer(s)Paul A. Stoddart, Jay Derrett
Release date(s)
Genre(s)Action
System(s)Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Players1
Mode(s)Single player
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The Magic Roundabout is an action game which was released by CRL Group PLC on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in 1984; it is based upon the French television series La Manege Enchante, by Serge Danot (1931-1990), which initially aired on its own country's television network in its own language, during 1963, but it was later appropriated by the English actor Eric Thompson (1929-1982) in 1965 for BBC television in the United Kingdom (and it begat a movie, Dougal and the Blue Cat, in 1970).

Story[edit]

This is from the back of the cassette's inlay card, the front of which is shown in the image to the right:

Help the frantic
Dougal build his
sugar house before
it's time for bed,
whilst avoiding all
the other "Magic
Roundabout" charac-
ters who can steal
his sugar.
© Danot Enterprises Limited 1984

Controls[edit]

  • Q, A, O and P: Use these keys to direct Dougal (original French name: "Pollux") around the Magic Garden of Mr. Rusty, gathering up sugar cubes and placing them on a magic toadstool to build his house; the outline of the house at the bottom of the screen shows which cubes he has put in place, while that bag of sugar shows how much energy he has (if it gets too low, he will eat the next sugar cube he gathers up, and if he eats too much the game shall become impossible to finish). Dougal must also avoid all of his so-called "friends", Florence, Dylan, Brian, Zebedee and Ermintrude (original French names: "Margote", "Flappy", "Amboise", "Zebulon", and "Azalee"), as they shall cause him to lose one of his three lives if they touch him - and once he has put the last cube in place, the house will simply disappear, and he will just have to start building another one.


Walkthrough[edit]

MR Garden Map.png

This is the full view of the Magic Garden of Mr. Rusty; there is a French 4-4-0 steam engine in its top-left corner (even though there are no rails for it to run on), and the eponymous roundabout itself is in the centre (although it does not play a major part in the game). Sugar cubes shall be placed all over the garden, and Dougal will have to gather them up one at a time and bring them back to the magic toadstool (which is just to the top-left of his starting position, but as mentioned above, if his energy gets too low, he will eat the next cube he gathers up!). Occasionally, one of Dougal's so-called "friends" will come into view from one of the four sides of the screen - and if they should touch him, they'll cause him to lose one of his three lives. Once Dougal has put the last cube of his house in place, it will disappear, and he will have to start building another one; the game will continue until Dougal runs out lives or the garden runs out of sugar cubes (and in the case of the latter, you must either intentionally lose your remaining lives or turn off the console).