Amstrad Computer User1st May 1986
Published in Amstrad Computer User #18
'Sizzling Speedloaders Batman, a game about us".
"Well, me anyway. I think it's by the same people as Knightlore".
"Great Bungling Batcode Batman, how did you guess that?
"Cos it looks like it, Birdbrain."
We shall leave the Dynamic Duo to sort things out, and let you read what the Dynamic Uno thought of the game.
The guys responsible for it are Ocean if you believe the cassette inlay and the Ocean non-loader tagged on the front. Inside, the 31) graphics, animation and artistic style reveal it to be a Knightlore clone. And there's only one bunch who can write code like that: Ultimate.
OK batfans, let's tell you what the game is like. With much "da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da Batman" music, a small caped crusader impatiently taps his foot at the top of the screen while you re-define your keys, change the sound effects etc.
He drops down the batpole into the batcave, a huge bat-complex of bat-frustrating bat-rooms to do bat-battle (OK, OK enough of the bat-bits, Ed) with the forces of evil, and generally rough-up the baddies a bit.
Oh yea, the whole point of shifting yourself out of the batcave and down the batpole is to find the bits of the batcraft. This has been sawn up into bite-sized pieces and distributed all over the labyrinth. Fortunately, when you find the pieces they are transported to a secret location and stuck back together again with hyper-intelligent batglue.
You can wander around the labyrinth, move pieces of junk, pick them up, put them down, and jump up and down on them in frustration. Standing batidle causes the more prominent half of the Dynamic Duo to place hands on hips and tap foot on floor. Quaint. You can do this for as long as you like since there is no time limit on the game.
After a brief time playing, I snuffed it. A bitter disappointment. Not a KAPOW, PAFF, SPLAT or ZONK! in sight, just the usual twittering and cloud of smoke as per Knightlore.
Strike two, After wandering around again, a little Robin dropped out of the sky. I rushed forward to comfort the old fellow and he disappeared, leaving a counter going at the bottom of the screen, This makes you invulnerable for a while.
The mini-crusader can bestow a number of gifts upon you. You can get extra bounce (just like the fabric conditioner adverts), the invulnerability, and something to speed you up, like the winged boots in Nightshade. There are items to be found in the maze - rucksacks, utility belts, super jump-boots etc. All highly useful devices, but you've got to find them first. In the Ultimate 3D wander around rooms games you start with the ability to pick things up and put them down and with the ability to jump.
Batman is not quite as flexible and you need to find a batpouch which will let you carry things and bat-boots so that you can jump. This must be the cheapo version of the bat pouch because it won't let you leave the room with an object (as recommended by all store detectives). Eventually you come across all the batbits and can get down to the real job of assembling the batcraft. The game is huge, there are 150 rooms to explore with the seven pieces of the batcraft extremely well hidden.
This is a game which needs mapping, even when I had found all the pieces it took me 20 minutes to find my way back to the assembled bat craft Rooms that. don't seem to go anywhere can be misleading, a good rule is that if you find a room full of moveable objects they are there for some reason, some turn into large double or triple rooms as you reach the wall.
Some rooms don't have a floor so you can fall down to the level below, some don't have a ceiling allowing you to jump up to the level above. You can move between floors by jumpingyour cape billowing behind you or by climbing onto a lift. The lifts only go up and take the form of moving blocks or turtles.
The sprites are beautifully designed - more shades of Ultimate. Some of the puzzles are fiendishly difficult - I spent three hours trying to get two elephant feet balanced on a moving lift. One room requires you to stack four objects on to a staircase so that you can jump out.
One part of the Batcraft is hidden from view and it was only through a desperate attempt to play with all the objects that I managed to find it.
In some rooms there are magic re-incarnation stones if you touch one you can start your next game from that position. It would be better if you could save that position to tape, Even when you have solved individual puzzles there is a sense of satisfaction to be gained from executing the movements a second time around.
If there is any room for criticism the game is too difficult, and like most of the Ultimate offerings once you have completed it you don't want to rush back for another go. The Batman tie-in would have been better if there had been a proper Robin wandering around and if the nasties had included a Penguin, Joker or Riddler.
When you have found all the bits you go through a particularly tortuous route to your batcraft. You then find it and run off with it, to get fined for reckless driving in Gotham City.
And now some highlights from the game: WHAM! KAPOW! BLAT! Holy Smoke Batman!
I think Batbashers will like this one.