Doomsday Blues (PSS/Ere Informatique) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

Doomsday Blues
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #8

Doomsday Blues

Although not as awe-inspiring as Get Dexter (that other French game reviewed this month), Doomsday Blues contains many original and entertaining features that should make it a success as well. It's set in a prison where the last survivor - so he thinks - of the human race is imprisoned by robots. He is trying to escape and his efforts are redoubled by the sound of a woman's voice.

The prisoner starts in a cell, furnished only with a bed. The door is locked and the only other thing in the room is a one Franc piece. How you get out is quickly solved by your main weapon in the game - your right foot. This can be used to gradually batter the door down as the unhappy looking prisoner rather humorously lashes out with his size 13's.

At the start of the game you will also have had to allocate the prisoner's three energies. These are strength, bravery and fitness, each of which will be of use in different ways. Strength is used up by kicking down doors but can be replaced by eating. The only problem is finding something to get your gnashers into because at first sight this prison is decidedly bare.

Fitness is also a crucial energy because running out of that will end the game. It is used up by the passage of time, moving around and through encounters with robot guards. The passage of time is a very important element since it affects many elements in the game, most importantly the robots. In cell blocks, a robot will come out at night while in other areas they appear during the day. Merely being in their view will damage your fitness and kill you very rapidly.

Robots can be destroyed if you have enough bravery. This allows you to go eyeball to eyeball with them, like two boxers weighing each other up. If you've got enough bravery you'll outlast the robot. Fitness and bravery can also be replenished by wine and coffee respectively but finding them is again the problem.

There are several different areas in the game ranging from the stark open cell blocks to dingy underground rooms and bright, pleasant quarters. Finding these can be extremely difficult and calls for a lot of exploration, efficient use of your limited resources and some luck. Replenishing your energies may not be easy either as you may need to buy supplies with limited cash.

There are touches of humour to lighten your depressing situation though. When you walk into the wall the character recoils with a yell and when he does die he collapses into a heap in a funny little graphic routine. His walking and kicking actions are also nicely done and the cell blocks manage to conjure up an oppressive atmosphere of fear. The game also features some nice music on the title and end screens which should have you bopping along.

Although the game may take a while to get into each new discovery will keep you interested and keen for more. There has obviously been plenty of original thought put into the game and the creation of a good atmosphere helps things along as well. May not suit all tastes but will certainly be a tough one to crack.

Second Opinion

A shame this game wasn't released in 1984, when it's foreboding atmosphere would have fitted in well with the publicity surrounding the year of the book. The grim cell-blocks and the robotic gaolers are fitting symbols of what some fear the future has in store for us.

The game has plenty to keep you occupied and - if my experience is anything to go by - you won't find it easy. But it's originality should merit your attention.

Third Opinion

Gloomy to look at, at first, and not too great on the gameplay side either - until you break out of the cell block, that is. It's tough to get into, all right - but what with killer robots, fortifying wine and the seediest looking hero ever, it's well worth the effort.

Green Screen View

Even grimmer than the original to look at - and that's very grim indeed.

Good News

P. Atmospheric graphics and action.
P. Good features like kicking and death routine.
P. Good music on title screen.
P. Tough game task calling for fast and efficient action.
P. Time element adds extra dimension to the action.

Bad News

N. There can be a lot of waiting around.
N. Takes some time to get into properly.

Bob Wade

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