A Day In The Life
We have had to wait quite a while now for a Micromega release, and A Day in the Life represents something of a departure for the company.
There must be a finite limit to the developments a software house can make in games technology, given a particular machine, and Micromega have certainly gone a long way. Now with this new game there seems to be a sense of looking back, for A Day in the Life is not a super 3D advance, but actually a mixed collect-and-run game.
You play a very familiar character, no less than Clive Sinclair - definitely plain Clive, because the object of the game is to keep him alive long enough to get to the palace to be knighted by the Queen. The action takes place over 13 screens of varied action. As it is a day in the life, the game starts out with Clive getting out of bed.
Throughout the game you have to collect one object to make a second appear, and when that has been collected you can exit the screen. On the first it is a coat, then the door key. The screens are laid out in such a way that a circuitous route is forced upon you, while objects or people get in your way or kill you off.
After a screen or two you may notice that in some respects this game does have a development in it - it is a story told in pictures. Once out of the house Clive has to visit a couple of shops before going to the station to visit the Autobank, go back to collect his forgotten umbrella, then dash onto the already leaving train. The train takes him to another station which is dangerously crowded to visit another shop to buy a copy of the Financial Times and back to the train before it leaves the station. Each screen has its own time limit, in the case of the last two it is the slowly departing train - will you make it in time? The train disembarks at a London station, not far from the Underground, but first there is the busy bar to visit, the bank and fast food joint before dashing for the Tube to the Palace.
The moving objects on each screen are so arranged to move in patterns, bouncing off each other in unpredictable ways to make life harder. Quite often it takes a few moments to suss out actually how to move about the screen. Should you survive to the Palace you will be rewarded with a lowering of the royal sword and a knighthood.
Control keys: user-definable, four directions needed
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair 2, Cursor type
Keyboard play: responsive, but finicky in movement
Use of colour: good, bright colours on a generally white ground
Graphics: above average
Sound: continuous but jerky beep music
Skill levels: 1