Human Killing Machine (US Gold) Review | Your Sinclair - Everygamegoing

Your Sinclair

Human Killing Machine
By U. S. Gold
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Your Sinclair #40

Human Killing Machine

Gosh! What a fantastically original idea! Beat people up against a variety of scenic backdrops. What do you mean, you've seen games like that before! I haven't. Honest. No, really, I mean it. Oh, alright then, I have. And Human Killing Machine is the latest beat-'em-up in a long line, so what does US Gold think is so special about this one that merits its release?

The idea is to bash up a load of Johnny Foreigners on their native soil, or in kinder terms, to 'stamp your supremacy over a multitude of opponents' as it says in the inlay. Glasnost hasn't reached US Gold yet apparently, as you begin your headbutting holiday in Russia, amongst the sacred Temples of Moscow facing Igor, a commie soldier with a huge sword. Once you've well and truly pummelled him, his dog Shep-ski, attacks you. Well, I say dog, it looked more like a sheep to be honest.

The first thing you realise when playing Human Killing Machine is that your opponent is rarely intelligent. Should you move your man to the opposite end of the screen from the enemy, he will continue to bash away at thin air, whilst you build up your strength again. Worranirriot! But back to the combat zone.

Having done your bit for the cold war, you head off to Amsterdam to take on a couple of girlies. (Oo-er!) The first one's called Maria, and looking at her closely. I wouldn't be surprised if her last name was Whittaker! Anyway, she spends a lot of her time leaping around and attempting to re-arrange your face with her boot, but is, in fact, fairly easy to beat. I was feeling smug at this point, sailing through the game, when Helga appeared. She's the sort of woman Les Dawson makes jokes about. Built like a sumo wrestler, and making Cyril Smith look positively anorexic, I lasted about ten seconds against her each time I played. Possibly because of the memory used for the excellent background graphics and big - nay, hooge - sprites, the range of moves available in battle seemed relatively limited. It was, however, still fairly easy to beat opponents by forcing them to one end of the playing area and continually hitting them with the same move. Whether it would be so easy on the later stages I'm not sure, but it did distract considerably from the playability of the early stages.

Not US Gold's greatest moment, but a creditable attempt to update the beat-'em-up for the modern market. Should provide hours of fun for all you beat-'em-up enthusiasts out there.

Sean Kelly