Amstrad Action


Meltdown

Author: Bob Wade
Publisher: Alligata
Machine: Amstrad CPC464/664

 
Published in Amstrad Action #11

Meltdown

A game about a nuclear plant approaching a meltdown is rather badly timed in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster a little too close for comfort. However that's just unlucky (or perhaps lucky?) timing for Alligata, who have tried to do something different by having a special disc version of the game for the 6128 that sports digitised speech.

Your job is to stop the reactor melting down by getting through the three levels of the plant. Each level is composed of 64 rooms in which yon have to find six computer terminals and play simple, but frustrating, 'mini-games' to achieve code words that take you to the next level. Between levels 1 and 2, 2 and 3, and at the end of 3 are further intermediate games.

The 64 rooms on each level are shown in 'isometric' 3D and are connected by sliding doors that open automatically when your character walks into them. Most rooms are full of hi-tech machines and furniture, but they don't look as good as the rooms in Get Dexter. The character you control walks by sliding his feet unnaturally along the Door and jumps by performing a very strangely animated somersault.

Meltdown

In many rooms there are defence systems that have to be dealt with or avoided: white suited men who will fire streams of bullets at you, hovering spaceships that do the same and mobile dustbins. They can be shot with your laser but are capable of reducing your shield to nothing themselves.

Should you succeed in finding all your codes you can take a lift to the first intermediate game called The President's Brain Is Missing, where you collect bits of the brain from platform screens to allow access to the next level. When you look at the package as a whole it's got some impressive qualifications: 192 rooms, 18 mini-games, 3 intermediate games, good speech (6128 only), reasonable multi-colour graphics and many other puzzles within the game itself. Yet with all this it's still hard to work up much enthusiasm. The problem lies in the gameplay: the man is awkward to control at times, death can come far too easily and ruin much hard work, and mini games can be frustrating and obscure. Most importantly of all is the fact that it may look an impressive package but when each part of it is examined separately they look very ordinary indeed.

Second Opinion

The main game is graphically very disappointing and the sub-games are just appalling. The only thing that keeps you going is the incredible frustration of losing passwords, landing on robots' heads and the like. Do you really need this kind of aggravation?

Good News

Meltdown

P. 192 rooms on three levels.
P. The intermediate games are a nice addition.
P. Good speech for the 6128 version.
P. Plenty of depth and things to do.

Bad News

N. To get to many of its features you'll have to play for hours/days.
N. Frustrating and difficult to start with.
N. A good package but the individual elements lack polish.

Green Screen View

Some of the sub-games are unplayable in green. But then some of them are unplayable in colour!

Bob Wade

Other Amstrad CPC464/664 Game Reviews By Bob Wade


  • Caves Of Doom Front Cover
    Caves Of Doom
  • 3D Grand Prix Front Cover
    3D Grand Prix
  • Space Harrier Front Cover
    Space Harrier
  • Leviathan Front Cover
    Leviathan
  • Timelord Front Cover
    Timelord
  • Death Wake Front Cover
    Death Wake
  • Defcom Front Cover
    Defcom
  • Firelord Front Cover
    Firelord
  • Moon Cresta Front Cover
    Moon Cresta
  • Breakthru Front Cover
    Breakthru