Enigma Force (Beyond) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing


Enigma Force
By Beyond
Spectrum 48K

Published in Computer & Video Games #54

Enigma Force

"We've taken the icons from Shadowfire; developed some incredible new animation techniques, and composed a powerful music score. The result? An adventure in which you can see, hear and experience the action!" So says the Enigma Force manual.

All that means is that Denton Designs kept the good bits from Shadowfire and added a whole lot more. Result: a game with enough novelties and polish to appeal to all you cerebral gamers with an itchy joystick thumb. A game which is many of the things Shadowfire wasn't.

For those of you who did not read January's C&VG, Enigma begins where Shadowfire left off.

Enigma Force

You and the rest of the E-Team have captured General Zoff, the well known republican dictator, and have been ordered to escort him to the Emperor's homeworld to face trial. But before being captured, Zoff was still able to declare war on the Empire.

Anyway, all goes according to plan until the E-craft is about to cross the Imperial border when... [The following is far too gruesome for a family mag and has therefore been censored! - Ed]

The next thing you remember (and we're prepared to print) is waking up next to the twisted remains of the E-craft which, you quickly deduce, must have crash-landed. Almost impossibly a message is still visible on the ever facing computer monitor. It reads, "...planet identified as Syylk's homeworld. Our location is an underground complex beneath the capital city. Syylk's people, the insectoids, are locked in battle with reptiloid storm troopers loyal to Zoff.

Enigma Force

Communications scan reveals republican destructor tugs are due off planet at indeterminate time. Their arrival will signal this planet's elimination. My recommended course of action:

1. Locate insectoid leader and convert to ally. 2. Only spaceworthy craft is located in reptiloid area. Find it. 3. General Zoff heading for this spacecraft. Apprehend in the name of the Emperor. 4. Insectoid alarm system will signal approach of destructor tugs and your elimination.

The upper half of the screen is your window into the game through which you can see the whole of the underground complex on Syylk's homeworld.

The icons in Enigma are divided into discreet sections.

Characters in location/character in play: Here you get a reminder of which team member you're controlling at the moment as well as a graphical list of all the other characters in the same room.

Movement icons: One of two ways that members can be intentionally moved about.

Also included in this section of the screen are the music on/off toggle and the "to status screen" icon. The status screen serves as a pause game function but also gives information as to the health, or otherwise, of your team.

Objects in location: Anything that can be picked up will be shown here. Hint - if you are unfortunate enough to lose a team member you can still pick up all the objects they were carrying when they were killed.

Objects carried by character in play: Apart from providing vital information this section is used in conjunction with the command section.

Command: These include pick up, drop, activate, reload, defend and hold, hound to death and mindprobe.

Objects you may find include Keycards: There are a number of these dotted around the place each of a different colour.

Toolkit: This was no doubt dropped by a fleeing insectoid but will prove most useful in Sevrina's hands.

Red fish: Although closely related to the herring they are not!

Ballistic magazine: This is your basic ammo although you are advised to find an alternative very quickly if you want the enemy to take you at all seriously. The green keycard may help you here!

Explosive: Good for party tricks but not easy to use effectively when the heat is on. *Don't* forget to drop it once the...

As you may have guessed, you're not going to get far unless you do make a map. Denton have not gone out of their way to make this an easy task. Moving from room to room can be a very disorientating experience as you view may not always be south to north as you would expect.

Sometimes rooms are seen from the west wall looking east.

The problem with Enigma Force is that the deeper you delve into it the more shallow it reveals itself to be. The net result may not prove to be enough of a lasting challenge for those famers who enjoy their grey matter being stretched every which way.