Your Sinclair

Crystal Castles

Author: Marcus Berkmann
Publisher: Kixx
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K/+2

Published in Your Sinclair #48

Crystal Castles

An excellent game, which for some reason that long ago escaped me was never properly released by US Gold. Although previewed in the press in 1986 or '87, it appeared only on a long-forgotten compilation a year or so later (with a couple of stinkers). But now it's available in its own right at a very nice price indeed. The idea's straightforward enough. Your little bear (called Bentley for no less obscure reasons) is just crazy about gems - so much so that he's willing to risk his life blagging them. So he finds himself deposited on a series of 18 3D structures (all around the size of yer average Head Over Heels room), each one chock-a-block with lifts, ramps, tunnels and occasionally the odd hidden passage. Oh, and gems too. Chasing around after him are various sorts of missiles (Mad Marbles, which take the shortest route to you, Tree Spirits, which do the same but can be immobilised for a short time if you jump over them, Gem Eating Centipedes which, er, eat gems, and so on). And, well, that's it - but try dragging yourself away from the keyboard, that's all. It's viscously addictive, a sort of high-speed Bounty Bob and the 3D isometric games. And don't be fooled by the rather primitive presentation and simple graphics - this is as swift a game of its type as I've ever seen, with none of that dismal slow-motion chugging about that you usually get if there's more than one sprite on the screen. If playability's the final criterion, this is as good a game as you'll get - definitely worth a Megagame. Buy and enjoy.

Marcus Berkmann

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