Phantom Club (Ocean) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action


Phantom Club
By Ocean
Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #28

Phantom Club

From the same stable as Movie, comes another game in the same mould...

The Phantom Club is a group of super heroes who have strange and deadly powers. They were at one time good, but due to the influence of their Overlord, Zarg, they have become evil. You, Plutus, stand alone as the last good member of the Phantom Club and decide to rectify the situation by defeating Zarg and his minions.

The action takes place inside the Phantom Club itself, a large building with over 550 rooms. Each of the rooms is shown in 3D graphics in the same style as Movie. Across the bottom of the screen is a status display which shows the number of lives you have left and the energy of your current incarnation.

You control Plutus, who looks like an American football player as he runs around the place. You can move in four directions, jump and fire. In the jump, you roll up into a ball and travel in the direction you are facing. Firing allows you to send a psychic bolt towards something or someone, but it looks like you are emitting a very powerful blast of spit.

Inside the club there are many moving and static hazards for you to avoid or destroy. The static ones all drain your energy on contact, but the moving ones are more dangerous. Monks, Buddhas, man-spiders and others can be found stalking the rooms of the club. To disable these, you must shoot them and several shots are needed to destroy most of them.

There are ten ranks of power in the Phantom Club and you start at lowest of these, Zelator. To move up a rank, you must complete the mission associated with your current rank. To complete a mission, you first need to find a movie screen and shoot at it. You also need at least 40,000 points before you can take on the mission. If you are of high enough rank to undertake the mission then you can proceed, otherwise you will be informed of the rank you need.

Missions involve going to a particular room and doing something like shooting or collecting an object, the mission depending on your rank in the club. Once you complete a mission, you move up a rank until you reach the tenth rank when you must defeat Zarg.

Floating spheres appear in some rooms and touching one for the first time gives you an extra life. If you touch the same ball again then you will lose energy. A floating diamond can also be found and this gives you extra speed for a limited time. A spinning sphere can be shot once for a large bonus score. Throughout the club you will find rotating cubes on pillars. If you shoot it then you can save the game for completion at a later date.

Spooky sound effects occur frequently in the game; unfortunately, they are not particularly good. Other spot effects are of a similar standard and the title tune is passable. There is very little colour on screen at any one time and some of the combinations are poor. The animation is good, but things do slow down a lot when there are many things on screen at one time.

If you like exploration games of this type then many long hours will pass before you complete this one. One niggle is that control is annoying at times because of the large steps that you take, it makes it difficult to pass through doorways at times.

First Day Target Score

Complete two missions.

Verdict

Graphics 74%
P. Great animation.
N. Bad choice of colours in some rooms, and not much of it.

Sonics 43%
P. Poor effects and only a title tune

Grab Factor 68%
P. Arcade exploration fans should enjoy this game.
N. Tedium does set in after a while

Staying Power 76%
P. Completing ten missions will take you a long time.
N. 550 rooms to explore.

Overall 71%
An old style of game that just won't die.

GBH