Play It Again Sam 11 (Superior/Acornsoft) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User


Play It Again Sam 11
By Superior/Acornsoft
BBC/Electron

 
Published in The Micro User 7.09

Play it again... but not too loudly!

Hey ho, what it is to wake up in the morning and find a package on your doorstep promising hidden delights. Well, one can dream in fact it was Play It Again Sam 11. I stifled a yawn and hauled myself over to the micro waiting patiently in the corner.

Pipeline

First the oldies: Pipeline. Now here's a really good game, almost a classic - it got straight tens when first released. Fast arcade action, puzzles and the speed of the scrolling as you whizz down the pipes... amazing stuff. The graphics are good, reminiscent of Ravenskull, while the sound is adequate. Game play is taxing but fun.

Barbarian

Then there's Barbarian: This was never quite what was expected of it. The graphics are well-detailed, again the sound passes as adequate and there are plenty of fighting options. Unfortunately the gameplay is a bit boring, the number of backdrops is limited and there's little real variation - it's not a patch on Barbarian 2.

Monsters

Monsters is a real rave from the grave - did I say rave? It must be one of the first ladders and levels games where your little stick man runs around a very simple screen pursued by ever-increasing numbers of monsters. By way of defence you can dig holes in the levels which the monsters fall into - at which point they hang rather pitifully by their antennae. Then you fill in the hole and the poor things fall through for 100 points.

If you fail to fill the hole the nasty manages to pull itself out - nice bit of animation! - and comes after you with undiminished intent. On higher levels any monsters that escape a hole turn into an even nastier green type. You won't like them when they're angry. Monsters is fun, but the graphics show its age.

Baron

The final offering on PIAS 11 is the previously unreleased Baron. Your dad, the king, has heard that his best friend, the wizard, has been kidnapped by the evil baron and has gone off with an army to get him back. You, the prince, have taken a short cut and sneaked into the baron's castle to rescue the wizard yourself. Ah, impetuous youth.

This is the scenario for a rather poor Citadel clone. You wander round from screen to screen, climbing ladders jumping nasty monsters and generally having a good time of it.

You get the usual energy-draining obstacles which force you back to your entry position. Things which go up and down, things which go backwards and forwards and nasty guards that follow you.

Unlike Citadel you are equipped with laser beam eyes (well that's what it looks like) with which you can zap the guards. Apparently you have to hit them in the face, but I just couldn't time it right - they're taller than you so you have to do it while jumping.

There are objects to collect which help you accomplish your task. But I'm not qualified to comment on this as I couldn't get past the guards.

The graphics are pretty poor, exclusive-ORing in these days of real sprites is a real throwback and the sound is just about on the level you'd expect.

Verdict

In this package, only Pipeline really stands out. If you're a real arcade-adventure nut you can buy it for Baron, but that's about it.

Geof Brown