Amstrad Action

Chain Reaction
By Durell
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #31

Chain Reaction

The Anti-Nuclear Party have invaded a nuclear power station, re-programmed the robotic equipment to empty the containment vault and attack the human staff, 18 radioactive canisters of fuel rods have been distributed throughout the seven levels of the building. You have 30 minutes in which to return all of the canisters to the vault.

On screen there are two areas: the playing area and the panel at the bottom of the screen. The bottom of the screen has a radiation gauge, fuel gauge, score, timer and diagram of the 18 fuel rods. The diagram of fuel rods shows the floor that each of the rods is on.

You're equipped with a jetpack machine gun and, most importantly a radiation suit. The jetpack lets you fly over obstacles in your path, but it does have limited fuel. The fuel does regenerate given time. Armour piercing ammunition is loaded in your machine gun and it's needed to blow away the robots. Your radiation suit gradually gets a build up of radiation from two sources contact with fuel rods and robots shooting at you. The radiation suit can be repaired if you use a shower.

Chain Reaction

The seven floors of the building are made up of interconnecting rooms. Some rooms have lifts that take you up or down a floor. Many rooms have holes in the floors, these also take you down. However, sometimes they're lined up with holes in floors below and you end up dropping much further than you intended.

Colour is not used well with most screens monochromatic. The sprites themselves are detailed, but they too lack colour. There are no tunes and the effects are sub-standard.

There's really not that much to do. You wander around collecting fuel rods, decontaminating yourself and that's about it. The longest that a single game will take to complete is 30 minutes, because that's how much time you've got. When you do complete it what next?

First Day Target Score

Chain Reaction

2,000 points.

Second Opinion

Spot the quickie conversion, causing ihe whole thing to look very drab. The game itself isn't much better. It's well and truly stuck in the old concept of explore, collect and return. Even with robots to zap, showers to take and some flying around, it's an unimpressive experience. Oh. and it has one of my pet hates - no directional control option. You have to swivel, move, swivel, move, swivel etc, etc, etc...

Green Screen View

Since they're virtually in monochrome anyway it doesn't make any difference.

The Verdict

Chain Reaction

Graphics 54%
P. Detailed sprites and smooth animation.
N. Pity about the lack of colour.

Sonics 29%
N. No tunes and average effects.

Grab Factor 58%
P. The instruction booklet gives you some helpful "how to get started" tips.
N. Having to leave a room and re-enter to pick up a dropped rod is annoying.

Staying Power 62%
P. A game where mapping is going to be useful.
N. Once you've found where all 18 rods are, it's an easy game to complete.

Overall 59%
N. A bit more to do would have made for a more lasting and enjoyable game.


Other Amstrad CPC464 Game Reviews By GBH

  • ATV Simulator Front Cover
    ATV Simulator
  • The Train: Escape To Normandy Front Cover
    The Train: Escape To Normandy
  • 1943 Front Cover
  • Ziggurat Front Cover
  • Ramparts Front Cover
  • Dream Warrior Front Cover
    Dream Warrior
  • Shackled Front Cover
  • Sapiens Front Cover
  • Knight Orc Front Cover
    Knight Orc
  • Street Fighter Front Cover
    Street Fighter