8-Bit Software Online Conversion

PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 7 ------------------- Available from:- Superior Software ---------------- P.O.Box 6 Brigg S. Humberside DN20 9NH Price:- £6.00 to 8BS Members ------- ( Quote Membership I.D. when ordering ) So, here we are again, yet another inimitably incisive, interesting, incalculably informative insight into i've run out of words starting with i so I'll get on with ( Oooh, hang on, interminable, how COULD I have missed that one? ) it; The Review. This compilation is a hole lot better than the last one wot I looked at. I felt perhaps I had done that an injustice, until I looked at some of the reviews published at the time of it's original release, and found that they weren't overly complimentary either. Anyroadup, that's history, and this is now, even though wot I'm now reviewing is historical, if you see what I mean? DO try and keep up, or we will be here even longe YES OK NEIL, I HEAR YOU. SO impatient these upstart Essex boys! We have four games on this compilation, as follows:- FIRETRACK --------- It took me a little while to work out why this game looked so familiar when, as far as I could remember, I had not played it before. The CLANG of the penny dropping must have been heard over most of North London. This is a Space Invaders clone! True, there are a few differences in that the entire screen scrolls downwards ( and don't THAT make yer eyes go funny when it stops? ), you can move up and down as well as sideways, and your gun fires continuously but, whichever way you unwrap the parcel, there at the heart of it is still good ol' Space Invaders. I don't like Space Invaders. Nuff said. BONECRUNCHER ------------ Judging by the amount of space given to it in the destructions, I thought before playing it that this would be THE game of the compilation. By their very nature, all compilations, be they audio, video, or software, tend to contain a gem or two, the rest being semi-precious and/or dross. This is definitely not dross, and the only thing stopping it from being a gem is that it is not unique. It is a copy of an original gem; Repton. Names and places have been changed to protect the innocent, but the inspiration is obvious. Upon first loading the game, you are greeted by a big green face, which seems to be suffering a severe bout of dyspepsia, giving forth the most enormous belches. On further loadings however, it becomes apparent that this is in fact you, roaring. You are Bono, no, not the front man for U2, but a dragon. You live by the sea ( in a land called Honnelee, perhaps? ), and have found your niche market supplying soap to the monsters that bathe in the sea around your castle, which is the registered office of " Bono's Bathing Company ". You make your soap to an age-old recipe, by collecting and boiling up the skeletons lying ( what else would they be doing? ) around the castle, and are aided in your business venture by a nice-but-dim partner called Fozzy, who has his uses but tires quickly. The castle has 22 increasingly hazardous chambers to work your way through, each one on completion gives a password so you can restart the game part-way through, once you have the passwords of course. There are no maps available, but there is a status section at the bottom of the screen, which shows where you are and how you and Fozzy are doing. There are three types of deadly creatures to contend with; Monsters, with which which you appear to share a common ancestry, but which nonetheless will kill you as soon as look at you, although you can kill them too and then use their skeleton; Spiders, which can be stunned but not killed, eat your main ingredient if given the chance, and whose bite is fatal to you but not to Fozzy; and Glooks, which are the equivalent to Repton's rocks, except that they are attracted to the smell of soap ( unlike certain small children that I know ), and can suddenly appear from below and trap you. As only a small ( even smaller than Repton ) section of each chamber is on view at any time, these things just seem to appear out of nowhere to make your life a misery, a bit like traffic wardens. ( Apologies to any members who may be one, either Traffic Warden or Glook, no offence intended. ) The similarity to Repton continues with the keys used to control the game, but ends when it comes to the graphics. These are less detailed and fuzzier, and are definitely slower to respond to key presses. It is not me this time! Inevitably this game has a hard act to follow, but does make an effort to be a bit different, unlike some I have seen. As I surmised, it is indeed THE game of the compilation, but not by virtue of it's originality. SNAPPER ------- It took me no time whatever to recognise the origins of this game, see how long it takes you. Little sprite rushes around a maze, eating up dots and occasional fruit, whilst avoiding being itself consumed by nasties. Yes, you got it didn't you? Didn't you? Even with MY limited knowledge of games, I know a Pac-Man ( or Pac-Ms in these 'PC' days? ) when I see one! This is a nice implementation of the game though, requiring a little bit of planning to enable you to get all you need to get before you get got. As far as I have got, the game holds no surprises, and is really a matter of nimble fingerwork to guide yourself around through each of the thirteen progressively harder screens in pursuit of the ultimate goal - The Acorn. The graphics are simple, cos that's all they need to be for this game, and if you turn the volume down, the sound effects are OK too. The key responses seem a bit slow, at least that's my excuse for never being able to take advantage of the extra life offered for scoring 15000 points. Much like it's progenitor, this game will have you saying " Drat! ", and having just ONE more go to try and better your previous effort. GHOULS ------ A nice little platform game, which has you jumping across gaps, onto moving platforms, picking up treasures, and avoiding loadsa nasty things whilst working your way from the bottom to the top of the screen. At least that's what you're supposed to do, within the time limit, in order to get to the next screen. Sad to say, I didn't manage to do it once in all the times I tried! It wasn't the time limit which defeated me, just my lack of timing when trying to jump the gaps or obstacles. I must have spent over an hour trying to perfect my technique, and if I tell you that the longest I managed to last before succumbing was 28 seconds ( and that was only cos I was standing still, trying to hide from the patrolling ghost ), you will get some idea of how many unsuccessful attempts I made! That patrolling ghost, incidentally, has a nasty scowl on it's face until you lose a life, whereupon it exibits a rather large smirk. I had occasion to see this rather more often than I would have liked, but it's a nice touch. I suppose I could try and blame slow key response again, but I think I will just have to accept that my lack of success is totally due to ineptitude. There is a good game there, which will keep the more digitally adroit amongst you glued to your keyboard. I just wish I could have seen more of it. Judging from what I DID manage to see, the sounds are nicely restrained ( and the ghost doesn't laugh as well as smirk ), and the graphics clear and easy to see, which unfortunately didn't help ME in the slightest. As I said at the beginning, this is a far better compilation than the previous one I reviewed. It contains a good mix of some of the main types of game, each of which has something to lift it above the average of it's genre. There is something for everyone here, even something for the weekend. K6X ( Cluke )