To call Thing on a Spring a platforms game would be an insult. It is sort of a platforms game but it is to Manic Miner what West Side Story is to Romeo and Juliet.
Thing on a Spring has you taking on the role of Thing. Your task is to save an unsuspecting world from the evil goblin (wasn't that an old Dr Who plot? - Ed). The aforementioned goblin is working from his underground factory deep in the bowels of the Earth. Thing has got into the factory but doesn't know his way around, you are bound to get lost and end up stuck within the game.
To work out how to conquer the evil goblin you need to collect all nine pieces of a jigsaw which has been cut up and distributed throughout the building. The standard system of three lives and a bonus every 10,000 seems to be about as trendy as flares at the moment, so being a very fashion conscious Thing on a Spring your life is measured in oil. To stay alive you need to keep your spring oiled (I once knew an artist who worked in oils).
The whole game is accompanied by a Benny Hill-like tune, one of the few pieces of music on the Arnold which actually adds to the game rather than being an annoyance.
As you enter each new room the soft platforms re-appear but any object you have collected will stay in your possession. There is a good variety of sprites, some Spectrums, little cars, ducks and trains - all very cute but none quite as user-cuddly as Thing himself.
The animation is brilliant - who could fail to love Thing as he bounces around the screen, somersaulting over blocks and sliding down ramps?