By Melbourne House
Spectrum 48K

Published in Computer & Video Games #62


Yes, he's back. The one and only Redhawk - the world's first computer-generated superhero. This time he finds himself up against a mysterious and inscrutable oriental called Dr. Lee who apparently holds the secrets to Redhawk's origin.

Dr. Lee is up to no good in the Lee Rest and Rehabilitation Centre, where Redhawk's alter ego Kevin - Kevin? Is that really any sort of name for a superhero? - remembers spending some time in the dim and distant past.

Kevin/Redhawk is anxious to learn more about his past so he heads for the Lee Centre - and this is where you, dear reader, come into the picture.


Talking of pictures - you'll recognise the screen layout from the previous Redhawk game. There are three picture panels at the top of the screen which either show your last three "moves" or scroll around automatically if something you've done has triggered a chain reaction. It really is like reading a comic book. Speech bubbles appear from the characters and boxes containing info or prompts also turn up.

Below the pictures, you'll see your inputs in a message window. There's also a little compass showing exists from your location, and a couple of energy bar graphs.

Along the bottom of the screen are words which relate to the top row of Spectrum keys. Using these you can control the neat one key input which saves a lot of typing much used words like EXAMINE or GET. You use these keys to control Kevin's tape recorder - make it record, play, stop, etc. More about this later.

There's also a RECALL key which enables you to quit the game at any point and get back to the beginning. Remember to press the Symbol Shift key before you try to use the one key input technique, otherwise it won't work.

You can also STORE the game at any stage. Do this regularly as you play and hitting the RECALL button will take you back to our last move. Useful!

The game starts with Redhawk dropping out of the sky and landing outside the Lee Centre. For a while you'll fiddle about trying to move - which you won't be able to. Redhawk can't even fly because some thing is keeping him well and truly grounded.

After a while it might strike you to say KWAH! and change to Kevin. Don't try typing this in without using the single key technique otherwise the computer will just look puzzled and the game freezes up until you hit the space bar.

This is one of the game's less entertaining features. If you key in something the parser doesn't like the game locks up. Can get a wee bit irritating this!

Anyway, as Kevin, you find you've got a press pass and a tape recorder. Show the press pass to the security camera and the gates to the centre open and you're off and running.

Inside the centre you'll meet Dr. Lee and you can use your best investigative interview techniques to get him to reveal secrets about the centre which you'll need later on.

But mention anything about superheroes or Redhawk and as quick as it takes Lee to nip out and release a cloud of gas into the room you'll find yourself gagged and bound inside a padded cell.

Shades of Hulk here as adventurers everywhere will know all too well. But if you've used your trusty tape machine to record a certain useful word you'll be laughing 'cos stupid old Dr. Lee has forgotten to take the tape machine away from you. Thought this guy was supposed to be an evil mastermind?

By the way, you can use the tape to record useful conversations as well, giving you the ability to keep clues about your person.

Once you've escaped the padded cell with the aid of some magic plastic you're free to explore Lee's centre, discover a young fellow super-person, find out more about your origin and save the world from Dr. Lee by bringing him to justice. All in a day's work for your average superhero.

The youngster you find in another cell is a result of one of Dr. Lee's experiments. Like Kevin/Redhawk this little chap has the ability to change into a superbeing. But he seems to be a bit odd as he keeps shouting things like: "I am green, I am green!" Which might mean he's concerned about conservation and trees - but I doubt it somehow.

The centre is inhabited by guards which Redhawk can knock out. But always remember to hide the body!

Like the original game, Kwah! is a hybrid adventure. Purists who hate graphics won't like it. Arcade adventures probably won't understand it. And out-and-out zappers won't want to even contemplate going near it. But they should all try it. Kwah! is excellent and is an original game which everyone should at least have a look at.

Redhawk fans will rush out and grab it as soon as it hits the shelves. Comic book fans will be close behind.

Bored with other mild-mannered adventure games? Then don't say Blah!, or Nyaah!, say Kwah!