Catastrophe (Amsoft) Review | Amstrad Computer User - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Computer User

By Amsoft
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #8


This is one of the simplest and addictive games I have seen on the Amstrad so far, and, once hooked it is difficult to resist playing just one more game in the hope of reaching the ultimate target.

Well, what's it all about? You have a company helicopter at your disposal. With this helicopter you must pick up prefabricated building blocks from the supply ship and place them carefully one by one onto the building site. Having mastered placing the blocks in just the right position so that they don't fall off into the sea, the task in hand appears easy enough. The weather, however, is not under your control and you only have a day in which to reach your target score. But don't be misled by what is happening to the building site to the left of the screen since the computer positions its blocks in a random manner. Choose your own strategy and stick to it!

For each block placed, 100 points is awarded to your score and for each storey constructed, a bonus of 600 points is given. Therefore it is worth concentrating on an individual storey to obtain the maximum number of points possible during the time allowed for each days work. As far as other points of strategy are concerned, I will leave it for you to find out for yourselves....

Every now and then an overhead flying aircraft appears from the edge of the screen. Beware of a collision with this aircraft as it will result in the loss of one of your four helicopters. If the lighthouse starts to flash watch out for a change in the weather: earthquakes and hurricanes are not too drastic but an electric storm could hinder and perhaps ruin a whole days work if not enough thought has been given to the overall construction of the site. In other words, aim to build a construction that will withstand the most arctic of conditions. Once you have reached the target for the first day, a new target is given and you go on to the second day and carry on thus until the game is finished.

On start up, there are two levels of play to choose from - amateur or professional. The only real difference between them is that everything happens very much faster on the professional level, and that the daily score targets are slightly higher. Although it isn't stated on the instruction page, it is possible to play the game with two players using a JY-2 and another joystick plugged into the back. Don't forget to choose to do so before the game commences, otherwise the computer will begin to play as if it is in one player mode.

The screen graphics complement the simplicity of the game and it is quite fun just to watch in demonstration mode. Look out for the rising of the sun at the start of the day and setting at the end. Overall, well worth a look at, although as it is such an addictive game its a shame that there is only the one screen to play...