Doc The Destroyer
By Melbourne House
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #26

Doc The Destroyer

Doc is a time traveller who is normally found whizzing around the timeways in search of adventure. However, at the moment he's having problems. Doc stopped at the world of the Domed City thinking that he would find a good time, but has somehow lost his nifty time machine and consequently can't escape from the era. His only hope is to put himself directly under the control of your good self, the only being capable of guiding him to the location of his lost vehicle.

Doc The Destroyer is a keyboard or joystick controlled multiple choice text adventure, with fighting screen intermissions and RPG overtones.

The action begins with the definition of Doc's character. The player starts with sixty units, to be distributed amongst Doc's five characteristics: Strength, Endurance, Intelligence, Luck and Charisma. This versatile procedure allows extreme variation in our hero's character, ranging from a lucky wimp with a magnetic personality, to an immensely strong muscle-bound oaf with one brain cell.

Doc The Destroyer

Once Doc's character has been defined, text appears in the main display area and is scrolled by pressing the Fire button. A series of multiple choices allow the player to make decisions - altering the direction of movement, picking up or dropping objects and so on. The scrolling text mode returns when an option has been chosen, remaining until another prompt appears.

Occasionally Doc meets another character. At this stage, choosing the fight option changes the screen display to show two characters - the hero on the left and the aggressor on the right. The player has direct control of Doc, moving his left and right across the screen. Manoeuvres executed via combinations of the joystick and Fire button result in attacking or defensive actions. The combatants' energy is depicted as a square-filled box in a display area at the bottom of the screen. The squares disappear one by one as hits are sustained, recipients dying when none are left.

Doc encounters all manner of creatures during his search - with hunched uglies, sewer rats, dogs and sword wielding hostiles to be overcome is he is to return to his home time.


Doc The Destroyer

What a bore... seeing the same uninteresting chunks of text scroll up the screen time and time again is most tiresome. Having to constantly make the same choices and keep on visiting the same old locations is tedious, as is partaking in an unoriginal and sub-standard fighting sequence.

If you're into adventuring buy an adventure; if you're into fighting games there are plenty available - and there are plenty of good RPGs. Don't borther considering this incredibly weak half-baked mush of all three.


There are two parts to Doc The Destroyer: a weak beat-'em-up and an even weaker 'adventure' section. The latter seems to contain no logical pattern, with certain sections reappearing regardless of which option is chosen.

The combat section is extremely simplistic, needing no more involvement than pointing left and pressing the Fire button to defeat most opponents. I didn't enjoy either section, and the urge to return was minimal.


This is an interesting attempt at creating a role-playing fantasy using both text and fighting scenes to convey the action. However, the quality varies so much throughout that it spoils the overall effect.

The graphics and sound aren't up to much and do little to create any atmosphere. The computer player appears to have had a lot more practice to have had a lot more practice at fighting, which makes it extremely difficult to get into.

There are a couple of elements which could have been used to good effect, but the overall impression given is not good.


Presentation 80%
Generally slick.

Graphics 45%
Chunky sprites during the fight sequences and little else to excite.

Sound 69%
A fairly bland tune plays non-stop.

Hookability 40%
A mildly interesting concept which fails to stir due to bad implementation.

Lastability 22%
Very repetitive and lacking excitement - even the fight scenes are dull.

Value For Money 23%
Overpriced and underdeveloped.

Overall 32%
An uninspiring mixture of the worst parts of three different game formats.