Publisher: Codemasters
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #26

Vampire | JR | SJ


Far into the future, Dracula and his vampire followers have risen again to take control of the Earth and its space stations, continuing their reign of terror over mere mortals.

Trapped in an otherwise humdrum existence, Brok the Brave had gladly taken on the greatest challenge of his life: to enter Dracula's castle and despatch the fanged bloodsucker, thus freezing the world from the evil blight of vampirism for ever.

The destruction of Dracula won't be easy though - there are four initial tasks to be completed within the castle, before the Count is finally confronted in deep space.


Initially, five keys must be found and place in their respective locks, opening all doors in the castle. To make things a little more difficult, one of the keys happens to be found on the opposite side of a vast chasm, which can only be traversed if a pedal-powered generator is fixed.

The third task involves finding and opening six magical shutters, allowing sunlight to purge the castle. Finally, collection of a hammer and stake allows entry to the top of the castle, where a teleportation device hurls you into space. Here, equipped with laser and jet-pack, you attempt to defeat the Prince of Darkness himself.

A side view is presented of the castle and its denizens, with our hero appearing near the bottom of the screen. Brok makes his way through the castle, negotiating all manner of platforms and obstacles in order to progress. Dracula's followers make regular appearances, with contact causing a severe loss of energy. Should Brok's energy dissipate entirely, the Count has won and the mission has to begin again.


"Boing!" goes the little sprite as it whizzes across one side of the screen. "Boing!" it goes as it whizzes back. Yawn, goes me and click goes the off switch.

Vampire has no redeeming features to save it from being left on the shelf. For a start, the control method is awful, and the sprite spings and spangs around the screen with a will of its own. Using the joystick is pointless, and frustration quickly sets in.

By the way, it's also very hard on the eyes and dull to the ears.


Once more the halcyon days of Spectrum platform games are with us. Yes folks, at tremendous expense, Codemasters have exhumed a dated Spectrum game, and transferred it lock, stock and attributes to the C64.

There's a fair amount of depth, but at the rate that your energy is reduced on contact with the meanies, it takes several attempts to get anywhere at all.

The lack of control over the main character is another real pain, especially considering the precision needed for some of the platforms.

If you do buy Vampire, don't be too surprised if you get to see the first screen a couple of hundred times.

Vampire | JR | SJ