Amstrad Action


Mask
By Gremlin
Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #25

Mask

Cartoon series seem to be prime targets for converting into computer games at the moment. In this one, the forces of MASK, under your leadership as Matt Trakker, are fighting VENOM (Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem). A surprise attack on the Mask base with Venom's latest weapon has thrown the forces of Mask through a time vortex. Fortunately, and conveniently for the scriptwriters, you were out at the time and now have to rescue your helpless colleagues.

The team are scattered through four different time zones which are linked by the vortex. In each time zone, there are two members of Mask except the first in which you only have to rescue one.

The games zones are smooth scrolling landscapes made up of many screens. You drive around in a car called Thunder Hawk, which is a little difficult to control until you get used to the way it drifts about.

Mask

Each agent has to be located using a scanner, which is activated by a special key in the form of a letter. The latter has to be assembled from four pieces of key littered about each landscape. There are many pieces but only four will fit together correctly.

Once the scanner is working, you just follow the directions of the scanner to locate the agent and pick him up. The agents' "mask", which turns them from ordinary mortals into cartoon super heroes, must then be collected. When the level is completed, you must return to the vortex and pass through it.

Littered about the landscape are scanners, bombs, repair kits, masks and security keys. The bombs can be used to blast holes through obstacles and can also destroy enemies. Watch out though because you can be destroyed by your own bombs. If Thunder Hawk takes too much damage then the game ends, but the damage can be repaired by driving over the repair kits.

Mask

The four zones are Boulder Hill, Pre-Historic, Far Future and Venom Base. They are full of dangers ranging from rock dropping pterodactyls in Pre-Historic to UFO's in the Far Future. The hazards are many and vary in their behaviour, so you've constantly got to be alert to the danger. Particularly impressive are the trains and helicopters that are great fun to blow up.

The game is completed when all Mask agents have been rescued and the Venom Base destroyed. This has to be done within a time limit, which is reduced sharply every time you get blown up.

Sound in the game is only spot effects like explosions and laser fire. There's a loading screen which has a pleasant musical tune before the rest of the game loads.

Mask

As cartoon licences go, this is about the best you can expect. It works in features of the cartoon to make an enjoyable and testing challenge. The colourful graphics and shoot-'em-up action are initially attractive and when combined with the key puzzles and searching will keep you hooked. The only major annoyance is that, when you die, you lose all the key pieces and have to start from scratch!

A well-produced game that should appeal to hardened game-players and fans of the cartoon alike.

Second Opinion

It's nice to find a game where features from the cartoon have been built in, rather than a cartoon in which they've tried to build in a game. The graphics are well worked and all the zones look good.

Mask

I enjoyed the mixture of shoot-'em-up, exploring and puzzling, although it's quite tough. A difficult task that's addictive as well.

First Day Target Score

Complete level one.

Green Screen View

All the zones play well in green.

Verdict

Mask

Graphics 88%
P. Smooth multi-directional scrolling.
P. Colourful landscapes and characters.

Sonics 53%
P. Good title tune
N. Feeble sound effects

Grab Factor 83%
P. Lots of blasting right from the start
N. Controlling the car is awkward at first

Staying Power 88%
P. Zones are tough to complete.
P. Letter keys add a puzzle element.
N. Frustrating to lose keys when you die.

Overall 86%
P. A well worked cartoon licence.

Gary Barrett

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