New Hunchback adventure with four-way scrolling screen
The bells, the bells return in the latest and greatest Hunchback game. Although not having anything to do with the Ocean offerings, this can still be classed as the return of the hump, with the familiar figure hobbling around his new tasks.
This game has an original scenario, more of a collecting game then the 'rescue Esmerelda' tones of Hunchback, even though the familiar battlements, soldiers and bells, make an appearance.
Collecting jewels is what it's about and there is a reasonably large, smooth-scrolling playing area, which you have to explore to find them.
When you start a game, and at the start of each new level, you are presented with an Orc Attack-type screen where the battlement walls are being sealed. Ladders are put up and soldiers, whilst throwing many spears, will attempt to climb to the top and attack you. Never fear, you have plenty of rocks to hurl down on their heads, which will stop them with a grizzly thud. The animation here is excellent as you throw the rocks in any of five directions (down, left, right and diagonals).
Once these have been disposed of, it's exploration time: collect the jewel from its box and take it to its rightful place on a pedestal at the bottom of the playing area. Depositing the jewel will give you access to further sections by extending a ladder you can climb up.
You then have to work your way round the playing area, swinging across chasms on bell ropes and avoiding deadly bats, until you reach the battlements again. The use of the ropes, in particular jumping off them, requires careful timing. Unlike Hunchback, you actually have to swing the rope yourself, and when you've reached full momentum, this causes the bell to ring with a wonderfully authentic sound.
While you're swinging on the bell ropes you're safe from a bat attack. But if you're in mid air or walking about, the bats carry a deadly touch.
If you can safely complete your tour, it's back to the soldiers and level two. As you move through the levels new playing screens are made available to you, but on each new level there's an extra bat to content with.
Another slick US game hits the streets, and this should be another big success. It's an odd sort of game, which has a lot of instant appeal and should be very popular with dedicated arcade players. The sound I found was slightly annoying, but the bell sounds were particularly good and the graphics are good too.
I really liked this game on my first few goes. Something big, I thought. It was after an hour or so of play the I discovered there wasn't much more to it than I'd already seen - any great interest that I'd ha initially was lost. This was a pity, because for a while it proved very enjoyable and taxing.
This game looks set to bring swinging on ropes back into fashion. It has an addictive mix of exploration and frantic arcade action that keeps you coming back for one more game. The different control methods needed for some stages make life interesting and you need several joystick skills. Apart from the bells, the sound effects are ear-numbing, but the animation of Quasi is terrific
On each even-numbered level a new playing area opens. Scale the castle walls to acquire the gem which rests atop its battlements, and then go back down.
There are windows all the way up the walls, from which soldiers with crossbows lean and shoot. This makes going rather perilous, and to make things harder still, four soldiers patrol the battlement and drop rocks on you.
Once you have the gem you'll have to wend your way back down to the bottom of the screens to deposit it and start the next level.
Despite first appearances, there is an easy way of doing this screen on the early levels. As you'll maybe discover...
No high score feature. 1 or 2 player game.
A nice collection of familiar arcade ideas.
Smooth movement, pleasing 3D effects.
Immediately compelling. Very enjoyable game-play.
Excellent bell noise. Most other effects are simple and annoy.
Ultimately not too big a playing area, but plenty of challenge.
Value For Money 76%
Addictive arcade game with great new action for Hunchback fans. A little more variety and it would be a smash hit for sure.