Amstrad Computer User

After The War

Author: Simon Pipe
Publisher: Dinamic
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #62

Yet another post-apocalyptic scenario as you seek out evil Prof McJerrin in this beat-'em-up with big sprites.

After The War

New York, New York, so good they blew it up. Yes, this is Manhattan in the year 2019, and somebody has just dropped the big one. There's no longer a housing problem in the Big Apple as there's no longer any houses. Or people. A few poor souls still survive, although with the radiation levels rising by the minute, planet Earth and everybody on her is doomed, including the post-apocalyptic hero of the asphalt jungle - Jonathan Rogers. What an inspired name. But wait, there is a chance, a slim one, mind and very risky. Only a fool or a madman would attempt it.

If our hero can reach the HQ of the psychopathic Professor McJerrin, overcome its defences and take control of the XV-238 rocketship, then he can escape to the safety of the outer colonies. Who said the 'B' movie was dead?

This is the grim scenario to After The War, a horizontally scrolling, heavy-on-the-recoil game from those combat junkies at Dinamic. The game begins with you controlling 'Jungle' Rogers as he fights his way across the Manhattan wastelands, facing up to Radio Gladiators who try to mug him (some habits die hard in New York) or blow him up with sticks of dynamite. The usual assortment of kicks, punches, elbows and flying kicks are at your disposal, and once you get the hang of it billing up a gang of radioactive ruffians is no more demanding than pushing that funny little red button... oops, butterfingers.

After The War

There is also a time limit in phase one, for the longer it takes you to dispose of your opponents, the more radiation you receive, and when you've completely irradiated the game ends.

If phase one is completed within the time limit, the action threshold increases to critical as Magnum-wielding punks try to blow you away, attacking simultaneously, without a four minute warning, from both front and rear. Watch out also for more marauding Radio Gladiators and your own depleted energy levels.

Phase three is a joystick meltdown all the way to China, as you frantically try to avoid the uniformed guardians of Professor McJerrin's scientific complex, whilst at the same time exchanging fire with your newly aquired FX-Machine Gun.

After The War

Wardroids hound you with aerial bombardment, and periodically, hulking great bi-pedal robots bear down to unleash maximum overkill. Yes, things get pretty hectic, and if you survive, as with the two previous phases of the game, you have to defeat the obligatory end-of-level nasty. This gains you access to the XV-238, the last freedom rocketship out of Nowhere City.

Despite a plot as exciting as a nuclear winter. After The War is a fast-paced, enjoyable game. The graphics were particularly good for an Amstrad version, making use of large, well-defined sprites and colourful backgrounds of devastated Manhattan landmarks.

After The War is a difficult game to master (achieving the critical flying drop kick was almost more than I could manage) and it should keep you and your family in the fall-out shelter easily occupied until the all-clear sounds.

Simon Pipe

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