One of the most famous characters of fiction, Tarzan of the Apes, has been brought to the BBC Micro courtesy of Martech. Another example of the popular "explore and collect" arcade/adventure games, spanning many hundreds of finely detailed screens, it is available on both cassette and disc, and appears to work perfectly on the Master, a point not mentioned on thepackaging.
Jane has been kidnapped by the evil Usanga, chief of the Wamabo, and it is up to Tarzan to rescue her. To do this you must guide our hero - using either keyboard or joystick - through jungles, caverns and tribal villages in search of seven stolen gemstones, with which to bargain for Jane's life. On the way you will find other objects to help you on your quest. The most striking features of the game are the superb graphics and animation - some of the best I've seen. The apeman himself can run, jump, duck, fight and somersault, all very realistically.
Every screen teems with life - wild beasts, hostile natives and flying arrows, any of which will sap Tarzan's strength on contact. So much for being Lord of the Jungle.
The game has a time-limit of three days: one lost each time Tarzan's strength level falls below zero. I found this ridiculously minimal, but I'm sure it's just me being clumsy and falling prey to everything that moves.
The one feature that spoilt the game for me arises when you explore the various villages. If you come into contact with an arrow, not only does it sap your strength, it knocks you backwards a few paces.
In the village scenes, so many arrows are flying across the screen that you are buffetted around with no real control over your character. Crossing one screen may take more than a minute simply because of the number of arrows hitting you. I'm afraid my patience eventually gave out.
Visually, Tarzan is a very impressive game - but you have to rely a little too much on luck.