Core (A 'n F) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


By A 'n F
Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #16


In the not-too-distant future a jolly bunch of lads called the Federation are given the task of looking after the asteroids that good old mankind have decided to colonise. All goes well until an evil alien contingent takes it upon themselves to start wiping out the groups of humans. Suddenly the previously cushy job of safeguarding lives of millions becomes quite a tricky one. Oh dear.

The first thing the Federation wants to know is why the aliens are carrying out such underhand tricks, so a hero, Mr Andrew Angello, is asked to go at the scene and gather information.

Just when the preparations for departure get underway an SOS message is received from the asteroid EROC 1 - the aliens are attacking and EROC's defences are swiftly being neutralised. The preparations are hastened but just as the rocket lifts off from the launch pad a last desperate message crackles across the Sub-Etha airwaves saying that the station is all but destroyed. Knowing that by the time Andrew reaches the planet there will be nothing left, new plans are drawn up. A faint signal is still being received from the asteroid and experts reckon that they are coming from the still-functioning central computer. If this is the case and Andrew can recover its bio-memory chips then the events which happened would have been recorded, allowing scientists to analyse the alien armament and plan of attack and thus safeguard other asteroids from future assault.

You play the role of Andrew who is transported down into the labyrinth of passages beneath the surface of the asteroid. The aliens are long since gone but they have left loads of booby traps floating around the place, and touching any of these saps the power from Andrew's backpack. If this power reaches zero the backpack won't function and consequently no air will be pumped into his spacesuit. Choke, gasp, etc. The power is constantly monitored on-screen by a bar graph which diminishes as the energy is used up.

Several pieces of equipment have been buried beneath the ground and to retrieve them Andrew firstly has to find the means to do so. No high-tech stuff needed here, just a good old fashioned spade which can be found dossing somewhere around the asteroid complex. There are four levels of passages in the asteroid which are accessible via anti gravity lifts and teleport systems. These anti gravity lifts are easily identified by caves or arrows at the bottom of the screen whereas the teleports are slightly different and are made of metal. When Andrew wants to use these, all he has to do is step into one and walk into the screen; the only problem is that when one is used a little bit of power from his backpack is required. The power can be replenished by picking up the batteries lying around the complex.

The asteroid complex is very large and occupies many screens. Andrew moves left or right and when he reaches the edge of the screen it scrolls to show the next location. At the top of the screen is a visual display area showing mission time elapsed, an area for text information to be printed up and an icon window. These icons can be used for help, pause, move Andrew back to his previous position and the last is a save game facility which can be used only when Andrew has found the cassette.

Just to make the mission that little bit harder there isn't a map. Oh well, life never is easy.


This is really boring. The graphics are single colour making them very dull; perhaps A'n'F have forgotten that the 64 doesn't have attribute problems? We shall never know. The scrolling is highly chunky too, ridiculing the 64's potential. The game plays badly and trying to achieve the task laid down in the game isn't enjoyable in the least. Sound doesn't really exist and the whole game looks like it's unfinished.


Core is dull in every way. The graphics on the whole are bland, uninteresting and lacking in colour. So are the sound effects. So is the game itself. Actually, there is one thing about Core that I liked - the jerky scrolling made me laugh. A lot. Oh yes, the packaging is all very nice, too - it belies the true nature of the game quite well - dull.


Presentation 82%
Very good box and instructions but not much else.

Graphics 45%
Nice animation on the main character but the backdrops are all the same and the scrolling is pathetic.

Sound 23%
A snake with a lisp makes better noises.

Hookability 39%
As soon as you've visited a couple of locations you've had enough.

Lastability 37%
If you like it you might continue, otherwise you'll soon go and do something better.

Value For Money 34%
Ten quid is expensive for a glossy box and a below average game.

Overall 37%
Nothing worth writing home about. In fact at the price, save yourself the postage.