Saboteur (Durell) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action


Saboteur
By Durell
Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #9

Saboteur

This arcade-exploration game has you playing a saboteur who has to find a disc containing data on rebel leaders, (who or where we aren't told!) in a security complex. The complex is heavily guarded but you must overcome its obstacles to get the disc, plant a bomb and escape.

The game begins with the saboteur clad in Ninja garb leaping from an inflatable dinghy into the water beneath a wooden pier. From here on you're in control and the first task is to climb the pier and enter the security complex. Once inside the search begins through a maze of rooms, corridors, tunnels and ladders.

The game can be completed in several ways, each one giving a different score depending on the tasks completed. At its simplest you can just head for the escape helicopter on the roof of the building. This won't bring many dividends though and much hie her scores are attained by attempting the harder tasks. The disc is in the computer centre and getting that out of the building will bring more points. If you manage to find the time bomb it can be dropped in the disc's place for yet more points before finally escaping.

The whole operation is performed against the clock which is replaced by the bomb's timer fuse if it is set. If either of these runs out the game ends but once you've got an idea of what you're doing the time limits are fairly reasonable. The other way of ending the game is by running out of energy and this can happen because of three different causes.

Security guards wander around some sections and can reduce your energy by punching, kicking, throwing things and shooting at you. However a quick kick, punch or thrown object of your own will lay them out permanently. Dogs also patrol some areas and will savage you given a chance. These can be laid out with a downwardly directed object or jumped over. Security weapons mounted in the ceiling also fire at you but they just have to be avoided and cannot be destroyed.

The objects that the saboteur can throw come in several varieties, bricks, rocks, knives, pointed stars, pipes and grenades. They all have the same satisfying effect of reducing the opposition by one. The energy that is used up in fights can be replenished by standing around in an empty room or corridor but this wastes valuable time.

Most of the time the large and quite nicely animated character gets about by running and climbing ladders. However there are two underground trains to travel in and also a stanchions and gantries (platforms) section where a lot of jumping is required. The guards and dogs are quite well done but the room backgrounds are very regular and only some of them contain interesting features.

There are nine different skill levels which affect the ferocity of the complex's defences and the position of the time bomb. It's quite an ordinary arcade exploration game that may provide some interest until you crack it but lacks real depth in the task and gameplay.

Second Opinion

It's pretty obviously a direct conversion from the Spectrum with no serious attempt made to exploit the Amstrad's extra graphics capabilities. An uninteresting screen might not matter if the action was pulsating, but it isn't.

Good News

P. Some large, animated characters.
P. Reasonable game size and complexity.

Bad News

N. Disappointing backgrounds and colour schemes.
N. Just exploration and little to think about.
N. Positioning for getting up and down ladders can be finicky and annoying.

Green Screen View

Oh dear. Several screens are completely unplayable. Silly...

Bob Wade