Fred's Fan Factory
By Software Supersavers
Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #12

Fred's Fan Factory

Another in the new Software Projects' budget range - Software Super Savers, Fred's Fan Factory is an interesting idea. It's a pity nothing could be said about playing the game either on the inlay or on the screen, because although the immediate requirement is pretty obvious, the long term objectives are not.

Fred runs left and right along the bottom of the screen, while above him there are four 'corridors' with offset holes leading upwards from one to the other. In the roof of the corridors there are sharp green spikes at intervals, and t opposed ends of each corridor there are large electric style fans, magenta fans on the first level, green on the second, blue on the third and yellow on the top. On Fred's level there are eight handles set into the roof in four colours, each handle corresponding to one of the fans. By dashing from one handle to the other an activating it, Fred can make the appropriate fans work.

From the lowest level at the left, a balloon man appears, wafting down the corridor until he reaches the first upward hole. The balloon then rises and will burst on a spike unless Fred can reach the right fan and waft the balloon safely on down the corridor. By judicious use of alternating fans, it is possible to make the balloons waft from left to right, picking up yellow blocks set on the roofs here and there. As soon as the first balloon is under way another will emerge from the right and so on. The object is to collect all the yellow blocks before running out of balloon men.


Fred's Fan Factory

Control keys: Q/P left/right, M for fan control
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: With only three keys it would have been better to have them positioned closer together
Use of colour: Good
Graphics: Quite good although pretty simple
Sound: Only the balloon bursting effect
Lives: Six balloon men

Comment 1

Fred's Fan Factory is a rather original game to say the least the graphics are good enough to match the game. This game is challenging and strategic in an 'arcade' sort of way. I enjoyed it! I also found it a little difficult because the type of skill required is an ability to concentrate on several things at once, rather like juggling. No easy task!

Comment 2

The object is to guide balloons through a factory using the fans on either side. At first the game is confusing because you are not told what to do. The keys are awkwardly placed and the game depends heavily on your having a colour TV.

Comment 3

Fred's Fan Factory would have been a really good game if it had been a bit more playable. The idea is novel but there are two serious failings; the first is that the level of difficulty has been twisted up just that bit too much to make the game enjoyable to play, and the second is that it is very hard to position Fred properly to activate a fan switch. This just makes to level of frustration too high to continue being bothered with the game. A pity, because the idea is good and the sort of skill needed is interesting.

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