The Fifth Axis (Activision/Loriciels) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

The Fifth Axis
By Activision
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Computer Gamer #16

The Fifth Axis

Imagine a cross between Impossible Mission and Kung-Fu Master and you will have something that is similar to this game.

The plot revolves around the evil Professor Chronos who has used a time machine to create paradoxes in time, thinking that time itself will smooth things out - but no. Meddling with time will produce an effect looping back on itself - the fifth axis.

The professor and his machine have explored in time and caused the start of the destruction of everything that we hold near and dear.

It is your job to return through time to restore all the ancient artefacts that the Prof has collected over the years, to their correct time. You must also return the bits of the time machine to your own time. Fail in your quest, and time itself will disintegrate.

The game is a four way scrolling ladders and ramps type of game with your character able to run along different levels of the professor's lab to find the ancient artefacts. In each level of the lab, there are various holes and lifts. A lift will take you up a level and a hole drops you down - though dropping too far will result in some of your life force diminishing. Holes can occasionally be bridged by finding keys that lie around the lab.

If all this sounds rather easy, it is probably because I forgot to tell you about the guard robots that turn up all the time. These must be fought or pushed down holes. This is where the game starts to look like Kung-Fu Master, as the character can fight very furiously indeed.

All the time that you are doing this, your Fifth Axis is increasing. This is a 'score' that shows the current percentage of normality that exists. A 100% fifth axis results in the end of the game. Every 10% you are given the chance of travelling back in time to recover part of the game to try and avoid being killed too often - a bit reminiscent of Aztec Challenge though.

All the time that this is going on, music is playing in the background. This is the first game I played on my Amstrad after fitting it up with a stereo amplifier, and it wasn't a bad choice. The music is very good and captures the mood of the game perfectly.

The graphics are very good and fast, with the little man being superbly animated in a similar manner to Impossible Mission (i.e. very good). This makes the game challenging as well as good to play.

On the whole I would say that this is an excellent game and indicative of the French Amstrad market. They may not be able to play cricket, but they are learning to write reasonable software. Let's hope that their association with Activision is fruitful.