Fantasy Zone: Escape From The Pyramid (Matra) Review | - Everygamegoing


Fantasy Zone: Escape From The Pyramid
By Matra
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2/+3

Fantasy Zone: Escape From The Pyramid

You know, it seems like only this morning I was playing a physical cassette published by Matra Computer Animations on my Spectrum. It was a game made with La Churrera, in which I had to escape from some sewers... Hold on a minute, it *was* this morning. And, very unfortuately for Matra - because I understand that they do in fact publish at least *some* original games! - the next cassette of theirs which I picked up to play was also made with La Churrera, and also started with the words Escape From The. Escaping from the pyramid may not be from the same authors who created the sewers, but the two in such close proximity already felt like Groundhog Day.

Escape From The Pyramid is a Spanish game. And so, stereotypically, it'll have a completely non-sensicle plotline, a high level of difficulty, need pixel-perfect positioning and come in two versions, with the only difference between the 48K and 128K one being the addition of some funky in-game music, right? Right. My politically sensitive opinion is that the backstory is gobbledygook. Rather than repeat it, therefore, I'll just describe the actual game. It's a flick-screen graphic adventure with keys and doors and in which you have control of a spacecraft which can move left and right, and up and down. You can fire bullets too. The aim of the game is to collect the five "Pichelin" stars, because there's some sort of strange culinary connection between your exploits and your stomach but, again, it's too bizarre as to warrant any explanation. Collect the stars to win. Fin.

Now for some good news. Escape From The Pyramid is decidedly better than Escape From The Sewers. It's altogether more nippier and much less frustrating to play. That's mostly because, if you take the game one little baby step at a time, it's one of those games that you just can't lose. You have an infinite supply of bullets, you see, and none of the patrolling nasties can withstand more than five or so hits from them. Which means, if you're a patient type, you can simply pick off every nasty you see and then traverse the screen in total safety.

Fantasy Zone: Escape From The Piramid

The trouble is that as soon as you leave the screen and come back to it, all the nasties are reincarnated and you have to deal with them again. It soon becomes more tempting to just try and fly over or under them rather than methodically taking them out of the picture and, of course, this is when you make a mistake, collide with them and end up losing one of your lives.

Despite the English title, note that the game itself is completely in Spanish. And if the text that occasionally appears at the bottom of the screen has any significance then you may well need Uncle Carlos' languages skills to complete it. Just a thought, amigo.

Other than that, and of course the rather funky background music, there's not really a lot to discover. It's all standard Churrera fare and takes no real risks with the engine. Indeed, the fact that you can just patiently clear each screen and be assured of success means it's not very exciting at all. La Churrera fans might think you can't have too much of a good thing. However, I personally think releasing all these "new" games is starting to give a misleading impression of the actual activity in the Speccy scene. I'm also quickly losing the will to live reviewing them all.

Dave E

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