Pyracurse (Hewson) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

By Hewson Consultants
Spectrum 48K

Published in Computer Gamer #16


In this, the latest, 3D arcade adventure from Hewson you have to control not one but four characters as they explore the South American tomb of Xipe Totec.

The cast contains a drunken reporter for the Daily Excess called Patrick "legless" O'Donnell, archaeologist Professor Kile, the prim and delicate Daphne Pemberton-Smythe and a dog called Frozbie.

Their mission is to find and rescue a lost explorer but their first problem is just staying alive as there is a weird and wonderful collection of nasties (all equally deadly) out to get them including headless guardians, skulls, scorpions and good old fashioned aliens.

You can directly control just one of the characters at once through joystick or keyboard control, although via a menu you can swap control to another or get the other characters to follow you around. It's a good idea to keep them together, at least to start with, as they each have different abilities which will help you to solve the temple's puzzles. O'Donnell is the strongest and is therefore useful to lead the way; the professor has the best chance of using the objects that you will find in the temple, Daphne has healing capabilities when she "comforts" the others and Frozbie is a useful digger.

One of the first traps you will come across is the problem of doors slamming shut behind you when you touch an object in a room. Whatever the problem, the answer usually involves using the right object in the right place. To use an object that you've ound you simply select it and then move it over the thing you want to use it on. For example, a healing potion is positioned over the corpse.

The controls are exceptionally simple to use and you'll soon be playing the game after only a brief glance at the instructions.

The action takes place in an impressive 3D display reminiscent of Ant Attack. The 3D rooms and passageways scroll smoothly as you move over the equivalent of 100 screens per level so mapping is essential. O'Donnell is probably best for this as he's strong enough to get away from most early monster encounters. After that, he'll need some help.

Pyracurse is a fascinating game that captures the atmosphere of exploration. The 3D graphics add a quality and realism that leave you free to worry about the problems ahead of you instead of sprite detection and will give Spectrum owners a game to play while they wait for Uridium.