PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 7
Available from:- Superior Software
---------------- P.O.Box 6
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:-
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.
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
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.
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.
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 )