Screen 7 takes to the world of skyscraper building in a cartoon caper that owes more to Nintendo's Mario and Luigi games than any real-life Bovis site. Ciaran Brennan gives some constructive criticism.
Cast your mind back to a time when coin-ops either featured shapeless spaceships or cute rotund moustachioed characters overcoming puzzle-style obstacles in an attempt to catch a gorilla or some other beastie...
On second thoughts, why bother? There's no need to search your memory banks, as Screen 7 has revived the concept (to some degree at least) in this, a tale of a cute moustachioed builder, struggling against a bevvy of cute enemies in an attempt to finish his contract on time.
All the materials needed for the job are lowered onto the site from a tall crane - the rest is up to you...
There's nothing like a combination between good old fashioned arcade romping and some classy 16-bit presentation - and as the old joke goes, this is nothing like...
That's not to say that it's a complete disaster or anything like that. After all, the most important aspect - the gameplay - is commendable enough, for the most past successfully treading the fine line between addictive joystick manoeuvring and low-key brain teasing.
And it's not as if the game looks too bad either - in fact, if it wasn't for the completely blank backgrounds it would be almost perfect in this department. The sound department is pretty well equipped too - the effects are cute, suitable and they add an extra element to the gameplay (even if they do sometimes crop up slightly out of synch with the action like a badly dubbed foreign movie).
So what's the problem then? Well, it's that age-old 'lack of depth' situation. After you've made it off the ground a couple of times it suddenly dawns on you that that's it - there's a fairly simple technique to be mastered, and after that... nothing.
If there was a prize given for the game with the most unfulfilled potential, High Steel would be a runaway winner - but there isn't... so this is one arcade outing that remains a good idea, but ultimately misses the mark.
|Value For Money||62%|