Crash1st December 1984
Published in Crash #11
Travel With Trashman
The sequel to New Generation's successful and novel Trashman sees our intrepid dustman on an exotic trip around the major cities of the works as a sort of free-lance waste collection consultant. Travels With Trashman is set in Spain, the USA, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Israel and Samoa.
The object is to collect litter from the various sites and score points. On the right there is a cash figure which Increases as you collect, but decreases if you keep bumping into people like waitresses or guests, or annoying them. This cash figure is important because unless you earn enough, you won't be able to afford the flight to anywhere else in the game. The Spanish Part is set in the bull ring.
Trashman has to collect all the bouquets of roses that the spectators keep throwing into the ring. But he has to watch out for the black bull, which gets increasingly angry. In the USA the scene is the streets of New Orleans, picking up the money being thrown at the jazz band, but the musicians are a mean lot. In Samoa, it's the beach, littered with holiday makers' rubbish, while overhead the ripe coconuts keep falling down. Israelis are noted for their wailing wall in Jerusalem - what few people realise is how many tissues are discarded by the tearful Jews. Parisian street cafes may look pleasant but there are loads of waiters, irritated diners and tons of frogs - it's the frogs that are the litter problem. Germany sees Trashie clearing away empties at the beeriest, while in Hong Kong there is a lively scene with a carnival.
Each separate section of the game is accessed through a screen which shows the world globe and the various destinations.
Control keys: user defined, four directions and fire (used for option selection only)
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair 2, Cursor type
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: varied, but not as colourful as Trashman and there are some attribute problems
Graphics: again, varied and neatly animated, but generally a bit small
Sound: nice tunes, not much in play apart from some spot effects
Skill levels: 1
I must say that I was looking forward to seeing the follow up to Trashman with its dearly defined bright graphics and a high degree of skill required to play it. Generally speaking I was immediately addicted to it. Travels With Trashman, however, is a different matter. I don't find it very addictive at all, and not really playable, just travelling around the world, going to find what rubbish you can collect to earn a living. In my opinion, it is not a very adequate follow up to a previous top seller. Graphics are quite pleasant to look at, but in most cases suffer with a high degree of attribute and clarity problems. Also, there seems to be a definite lack of colour in many areas. The graphics just don't look half as solid as in Trashman, and in many areas look quite weak. On some occasions Trashman (you, the character) is more often than not difficult to find on the screen for the simple reason that there's no outstanding colour of his own to show him up. This poses problems and loss of money and loss of time during the game. To be quite honest, if you enjoyed playing Trashman I cannot seriously say that you will enjoy playing Travels With Trashman because they are two totally different games based around the common factor of Trashman.
Travels With Trashman starts off with a realistic world map showing locations where you may go. The various places have slight differences to the basic task (collecting rubbish), like frogs in France. Travels With Trashman has, in my opinion, graphics which are not quite as good as in the original, but it offers more variation. One thing is certain, this is no easy game, and you really have to earn your travel money. The game should stand the test of time well.'
Part of the game is to get to see the various locations. This is not possible at the start because you are never given enough cash to fly to the more exotic ones; this has to be earned, otherwise you may find yourself restricted to one or two, or even stranded.
As in Trashman, there are humorous comments at the bottom of the screen; when you bump into people, or at the end of a game. I very quickly got gored by the bull in Madrid and was informed that by (meagre) 30 bonus points would be flown back home (presumably for the poor destitute family).
On some screens, the graphics work very well and the game is jolly. But there are some where this is not so good, and generally the game lacks the intensity that Trashman had.
This lowers its addictivity considerably. I think it's likely to appeal widely but I doubt that it will have the staying power of the earlier game because the playability has been dissipated by the fact that less attention to detail has gone into each of the different locations, than went into the suburban Trashman.