This game is based on the extremely popular children's TV show of the same name. This stars Berk as the overworked and underpaid servant of the 'thing' upstairs. The thing is never seen and the only contact with the creature is when his booming voice rattles down the dumb-waiter with another order for Berk to prepare.
The orders are usually rather 'exotic' requiring various creatures to be let out of the trap door in the cellar of Berk's kitchen. The game takes this theme and translates it perfectly onto the computer screen. The game takes the form of a graphical problem-solving game based around the six rooms that make up Berk's kitchen.
Occasionally an (imaginary) voice booms out with a request for a particular dish - this section is done rather well with the words shaking on screen, creating impressions o a loud monstrous roar from the indescribable 'thing'.
Once you are given your orders it is time to use all the objects and ingredients at your disposal in the kitchens to prepare the 'food'. Now comes the tricky bit. You have to open the trap door and make use of one of the available monsters that leap out of the hole in the ground. All of the monsters feature in the TV series somewhere, so this is an area where the kids may have a slight edge. All this is against the clock and the longer you leave it, the more annoyed the 'thing' will get. As soon as you are finished, you can pop the food into the dumb waiter and send it up to him.
The Trap Door is a great game with some excellent use of colour graphics (like the series). The original Spectrum version was acclaimed because it managed to have colour in a Spectrum game without all the usual hassle. The Amstrad version is a bit chunky because it uses the 16 colour mode, but this is used to good effect and you don't really notice the slightly chunky appearance of the characters.
This is an excellent game for all ages (not just kids) and stands up in its own right. This sort of game would make an excellent Christmas present, as long as you don't get put off by the rather poor quality and unimaginative packaging which is its only drawback.