Amstrad Action

Catch 23

Author: Gary Barrett
Publisher: Martech
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #25

Catch 23

A futuristic arcade adventure western from Martech, utilising quickly-drawn vector graphics and one nice picture of a man who varies in size in relation to his proximity. [OK, who gave Chris a dictionary tor his birthday? - Ed]

You have just been dropped by parachute on to a top secret island. The nearest mainland is 400 miles away. The island is being used as a test development site tor the revolutionary CK23 orbital interceptor. Your mission is to sneak into the secret military complex and steal the plans tor CK23. You must then blow a nuclear reactor up.

The screen shows a "your eye" view as you roam the planet. Buildings are drawn in 3D vector graphics and you can enter them by 'investigating' the door. To investigate anything, you press I for investigation mode. A magnifying glass appears on the screen. Position it over the thing you wish to investigate and then press fire. A message will appear on screen to tell you about it.

Catch 23

Once inside a building the internal furniture such as chairs, tables, shelves will be drawn. These too can be investigated. While inside you cannot be attacked by armed guards, so this is a good method of avoiding trouble. There are shuttles around the planet which you can jump onto to make your journey faster.

When there is a guard within firing distance of you, a sight will appear on the screen. You must quickly move this over the chest area of the guard and press fire. If you shoot him in time, his body will crumple to the floor. If not, the screen will show his bullet holes as he pumps you full of lead.

The task is difficult and the playing area massive. The graphics on this game are drawn quickly and well. The opponent in the "shoot out" is intricate. There are only two colours used; hardly surprising when using vector graphics. The sound is nothing without the gunshots.

Second Opinion

Catch 23

Unfortunately, the twin effects of seeing Mercenary in the past and the impending game Driller, which features solid 3D graphics, tend to make this look dated. It's reasonably well-implemented and will provide quite a test but there didn't seem much to get excited about. Six months to a year ago, I'd have been more enthusiastic but now it just seems run of the mill stuff.

First Day Target Score

Riddle a few men with holes.

Green Screen View

Perfectly visible in green.


Catch 23

Graphics 68%
P. Good character definition.
N. Only two colours used.

Sonics 69%
P. Nice shooting sound effects.

Grab Factor 64%
P. Exciting head to head gun fight.
N. No turning while moving forward.

Staying Power 76%
P. Massive playing area.
N. Searching the inside of buildings is a good addition.

Overall 73%
Tense and difficult path to success

Gary Barrett

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