By Martech
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Crash #54


Raised by foxes and granted magic powers by the Sages, Martech's Vixen carries a magic whip and has the ability to turn herself into a fox. Her efforts to stay alive are displayed across a series of horizontally scrolling levels, which are loaded separately in three parts.

A Vixen negotiates the treacherous primeval landscape, a variety of mutant prehistoric creatures rush in to attack. Their touch is fatal, but most beasts are despatched with a well-placed flick of the whip. The whip is also used to transform bonus icons into collectible objects. These include gems for extra points and items for additional time and lives.

Collecting fox-time icons causes a fox's head to progress along the display panel. Once the head has moved to its maximum setting and the current round has been completed, Vixen metamorphoses into a fox and enters an underground bonus level. Here she simply collects as many objects as possible within the imposed time limit. These objects are then used on the surface: mega whips kill all enemies with one hit and mega gems increase scoring potential.



Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: smoothly animated main characters moving against detailed backgrounds
Sound: little for 48K owners, but 128-ers will be pleased with the bish-bash title tune
Options: choice of three individually loaded game environments

Kati ... 69%

'Vixen's movements are smoothly animated and the transformation into a rather scrawny fox is handled well. However, anyone looking for the kind of excitement promised by the over-exposed publicity campaign is in for a disappointment. The wily heroine simply jogs through a series of similar levels whipping crowds of identical mutants into submission. Metamorphosing into the fox adds some variety, but not enough to keep you hooked, and the bonus items don't add much spice to this tedious procedure. This is a pity because the presentation is professional and gameplay on the whole is very smooth. Martech might not have had to spend so much time on promoting the box had they paid a little more attention to the action inside.'

Nick ... 50%

'Oooh! A skimpily dressed woman carrying a whip ... Well it makes a change I suppose, Vixen is really three games on one tape, but the only trouble is that they are all very similar. The main character of the game is quite well drawn until she turns into a supposed fox - it looks more like a bleached squirrel to me! Apart from the destruction of a few enemy mammals and the foxy gem-collecting session, that's about it. Vixen plays in a similar fashion to Elite's Thundercats, but lacks the glamour and slickness that Thundercats had. A groovy 128K tune brightens up the title screen and there are some whiplashing sound effects but, as usual, 48K owners miss out on the music. If 'average' is good enough for you, then whip down to your local software store and get a copy.'

Paul ... 60%

'After all the sexist (and sexy) promotion, Vixen has turned out to be quite a pleasing game. So it's basically Thundercats with less variation, but at least it's moderately playable and addictive. The hookability doesn't last long, though, and you're left with a feeling that £8.99 is a lot to pay for a couple of weeks' fun. There's no arguing that Vixen has some great features - the cracking whip and superb animation of the fox lady to name a couple - but it lacks the variation that makes you want to load it up again and again. With a bit of thought the authors could have had various tasks to complete on each level and a different range of monsters to defeat. As it stands, Vixen's attraction is short-lived.'

Nick RobertsPaul SumnerKati Hamza

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