Eco Phantoms (Electronic Zoo) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power

Eco Phantoms
By Electronic Zoo
Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #3

Eco Phantoms

I wonder how many games begin life as an interesting graphical effect and then slowly evolve into something playable through having controls, weapons and a plot sellotaped onto them. That's what seems to have happened with Eco Phantoms, anyway. At its heart is a landscape-coming-towards-you effect. Not a particularly good one, mind, but enough to form the basis of some sort of space exploration game.

The landscape in question is a sort of gully, blocked off at each end, which you can move backwards and forwards along and from one side to the other a bit. This is achieved by moving the mouse in the direction you want to go until the appropriate corner of the cursor lights up, then clicking the left button. And, yes, it's as awkward as it sounds. If a little arrow on the dashboard appears you can turn through 90 degrees to find yourself in another gully.

The explanation for all this? Well, you're flying a spaceship which you've hijacked from a bunch of aliens. These aliens have invaded earth and sucked it dry of all life. Your task is to try to reverse the situation by collecting codes (or something like that).

Occasionally baddies appear which need to be shot, and very occasionally indeed you'll encounter a building. At this point, having entered the appropriate access code, you'll need to dispatch a robot around the screen, shooting things and finding codes.

That's not all though. Various other bits and pieces have been thrown in too, in an attempt to add depth. There's an 'engines' screen which you've got to bring up every so often to add oil to the engines (and so stop them overheating) and a 'passenger' screen where you look after any prisoners you've rescued. All this takes place in stoney silence, bar the gentle throb of your engines.

Hmmm. I'm probably not making it sound very exciting, am I? And it isn't. I'm going my best, honest, but this really is pretty dire - as I said, literally a landscape-coming-towards-you effect with a few graphical set pieces tacked on. It takes ages to work out what the blazes is meant to be happening anyway, and when you finally do you're left with a distinct empty feeling. Unless I'm missing out on something fairly major (I've studied the manual closely and I don't think I am, though) Eco Phantoms is utterly devoid of any form of playability as we know it.

The Bottom Line

Pretty graphics, lots of controls and sub-games but nothing interesting to do. A sorry state of affairs, really.

Jonathan Davies

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