It's the game of the job that everybody wants to do, building! I used to play with my Lego blocks for hours and now you can do the same sort of thing (without losing that crucial bit to hold the whole thing up) with High Steel from Screen 7.
A crane drops building materials, with food occaisionally, into the construction plant, and from there you pick-up girders and bricks to build floors of a skyscraper to complete each level.
Firstly place a girder on a flat piece of ground and put a brick on top by climbing up the girder. When a row of five girders and bricks are in position you've completed the first levels. The second level requires two floors with strong foundation.This may seem easy to the unsuspecting reader, but there are hindrances to bugger up your day's work. Gremlins, mothers, crawlers, spinets, banana skins and a entire host of nastier have been brought to life to knock you down, slip you up and generally knock you about. All these enemies are cleverly designed. For Instance, the gremlins come along and drop eggs on the platform. Then a mother is sent down from the skies to hatch the egg into a crawler. Luckily the builder can kill the gremlins, mothers and crawlers with his trusty old spanner.
High Steel's a really simple idea but can be infuriatingly difficult to play. Just as a space is cleared to put down a girder the stupid crane goes and puts another brick (here and stops you from placing the girder! Arrgghh! The cartoony-style characters are brilliant and are all animated well. It's a pity the colour's limited to just blue and white, but you can't have everything can you?
To round off this very arcade-style game there are ditties and sound FX to complement the non-stop action perfectly. High Steel may get so annoying that you want to throw the computer out of the window, but it's worth it for the arcade addictivness.
'This game is soooo frustrating! Each level is quite challenging (except the first one), so by the time you're really getting on, any loss of life can result in the breakage of joysticks and things! The graphics are fairly poor; there's nothing special to make it attractive, and the sound's fairly simplistic, but there's something about the game design that makes it incredibly compulsive. You have to play it for a while to really get to like it, but once hooked... The presentation is unremarkable, but High Steel definitely has that intangible 'it' that makes playing enjoyable.'