Following fifteen successful Sam compilation packages, Superior Software is continuing to bundle old and new games together, selling them for the price of one. Play It Again Sam 16 contains two old Superior titles, Hostages and Perplexity, Pipemania from Empire and a new game called Vertigo.
Hostages involves a daring rescue of some dumb diplomats trapped in an embassy overrun with trigger-happy bad guys. As an SAS-style solider, you have to storm the place using snipers to terminate the terrorists. I actually prefer the BBC version to its Archimedes companion (see September 1990). It's a fun game but not very flexible - the challenge exists as long as it takes to complete each level correctly.
Perplexity is best described as a cross between PACMANIA and Repton. This is because it embodies the three dimensional maze scenario of the former, combining it with the more strategic elements of Repton - a set of puzzles. Being of medium difficulty, these are my sort of standard. The graphics glare a bit and motion is less than smooth. Perplexity is my least favourite of the four, maybe because I just prefer action to strategy.
In Pipemania, the object is the same as that of the Arc version - pipe some flooze. Basically, this yucky floozy stuff is leaking out of a hole and, armed with a selection of pipe shapes, you have to pipe it off elsewhere. The longer you can keep the flooze on the flow, the more points you get.
Pipemania is a very addictive arcade game although I don't think it is quite as good as it was previously hyped up to be. However, it can be played by two people, and I'm a sucker for this sort of feature; it's much more fun.
The fourth and final game is the new one, Vertigo. It isn't a new concept as it borrows heavily from a game called Gyroscope, released about six years ago, which in turn reflects the essence of my favourite game of all time, Marble Madness. The idea is simple - you have to control a bouncy ball through a landscape of paths and valleys, your aim being to collect the diamond which can be found somewhere in each screen.
Sometimes the paths are quite narrow and dexterity is needed to guide the ball safely along; at other times you will need to gain enough momentum to carry the ball over a ridge or up a slope.
At one time, Vertigo was going to be released as a separate title and remnants of this quality are plain to see, although I think it is probably happier in this compilation. Play It Again Sam 16 is as good as any.