Amstrad Action1st August 1986
Published in Amstrad Action #11
Interesting scenario, this. Set in the future, the world is being swept by disease epidemics. You are in charge of eliminating the threat to mankind by controlling the contamination and developing anti-viruses.
The action occurs in two basic settings, a map of the world where you can examine the situation and decide on a course of action, and a laboratory where you can work on developing anti-viruses to deal with epidemics. The game begins with a single outbreak of disease somewhere in the world, but from there on you'll be fighting a battle against ever increasing odds.
There are several ways of dealing with the initial outbreaks to try to buy time in which to develop the anti-virus. The two most suitable are a sanitised cordon or a 'terre brulee' (scorched earth policy) which will restrict the disease for a short time. Neither are popular with the local people but they're preferable to using the nuclear bomb option, which certainly wipes out the disease but takes the people and your job with it.
Once you've got an area temporarily under control you can take a sample back to the laboratory to work on it. You're presented with a view of the computer in the lab with a menu of six options on it. The first one you'll need to use is the one that identifies the virus. This shows the elements in the virus (a chain of symbols), its virulence, whether an anti-virus exists and allows you to name it.
The battle against the epidemics is very much an uphill one. which to start with is very intriguing because of its original concept. However as you start being overwhelmed by disease and the map goes black with epidemic symbols the process of analysing and creating becomes repetitive and wearing, depressing even. There's a tough challenge there, but the game needs more variety.
Ten out of ten for originality, but minus several million for gameplay. Aside from the standard 'assemble things in the correct order' puzzles, you just have to do the same things over and over again. Mechanical and boring.
P. Highly original game concept.
P. Creating and testing anti-viruses is absorbing.
P. A tough one to do well at.
N. Quickly becomes repetitive coping with epidemics in the same fashion.
N. There's little reward when you do get things right.
N. Lacks variety and depth to the action.
Green Screen View
Readable, playable and pretty forgettable.