Terramex (Grandslam) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action


Terramex
By Grandslam
Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #31

Terramex

Out in space there's an asteroid which just happens to be on a collision course with Earth. Not to worry though because there is one man that can stop the demise of the whole human race - Di Eyestrain.

Eyestrain is a brilliant scientist who predicted the asteroid's path some time ago. No-one believed him and there was a general feeling that his eccentricity had turned to senility. Eyestrain disappeared and, until now, nobody was the slightest bit interested. Five fearless adventurers volunteer to find the missing Doctor. You choose which of the five you want to be on this dangerous mission. The five heroes are Big John Caine, Fortisque-Smithe, Herr Krusch, Wu Pong and Henri Beaucoup. Each has his own strengths and weaknesses, but they're all capable of solving the mystery of Eyestrain's whereabouts.

On screen there's a status panel and the playing area. The main playing area is of the flick-screen variety with hazards galore to kill you off. The status panel shows you how many lives you've got, your score, the object that you're holding and a line of bearers that carry the rest of your objects. The line of bearers can be scrolled so that you can swap the object that you're holding with one that a bearer has. You won't run out of space to carry objects because your bearers can carry 27 objects and you can carry another yourself.

Your first task is to find Eyestrain and, once he's convinced that the human race is worth saving, you'll have to collect the objects that make up the Positronic Asteroid Deflector. Finally you need to operate the machinery so that the asteroid misses and you can then have a well-earned rest. If you fail in your mission then you see a very poorly animated sequence of an asteroid hitting Earth.

You begin in the middle of the desert standing next to a vacuum cleaner; it's been slightly altered by Eyestrain so that you can sit on it and fly around the sky like a witch doing the spring cleaning. Many other objects have been doctored by the wacky scientist and have different properties than you'd expect. There are plenty of objects to find and lots of places to use them. You'll find out what and where to do things by a process of trial and error, or sometimes by pressing the hint key. This sometimes gives you a helpful clue as to what objects you need to solve a particular problem.

Games like this should always check that you can't get into a situation where you lose all your lives, and unfortunately this one doesn't. On one occasion I jumped into a location and hit a pterodactyl causing me to lose a life. The game then persisted in making me hit that same pterodactyl until I had run out of lives.

Sound is average, but an atmospheric title tune plays before you start the action. The graphics are colourful and the animation competent. There are some humorous touches to the graphics - for example, the way that your adventurer shakes his head when you try to make him leap to his death. Another good example is with the cannon where you climb down the barrel and, using gunpowder, propel yourself through the air. There are two barrels of gunpowder, a large one and a smaller one; if you use the large one then you lose a life when the cannon's fired because you over-shoot and end up head first in a rock face.

This style of game has been around for a long time and this is a nice variant on the theme. It won't win any prizes for originality but it should provide many hours exploring and puzzling.

Second Opinion

There's not a lot to say about this one, except that it's competent and average. It lacks anything that would really grab your interest and get you hooked, but then again there are plenty of problems to deal with and places to explore. The only thing I'd like to know is what those weird pink things that pop out of rocks are supposed to be.

Green Screen View

Just as easy to see everything in green as it is in colour.

First Day Target Score

800 points.

The Verdict

Graphics 68%
P. Bright and colourful backgrounds.
P. Humorous animation in places.

Sonics 67%
P. Atmospheric title tune.

Grab Factor 64%
P. Some easy initial puzzles.
N. Irritating features like the continual death loops that can occur.

Staying Power 69%
P. Lots of problems to solve and locations to explore.
N. Won't actually take that long to solve.

Overall 66%
P. A fun game that'll keep you busy.

GBH