Personal Computer News

By Microbyte
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Personal Computer News #092


I was just beginning to think that good graphics in Amstrad games weren't possible, when along came Er*Bert. I don't know why no-one has yet produced more than rather chunky graphics, but it's obviously possible, and the figures in Er*Bert are in fact quite sprite-like.

As you can guess from the title, it's basically Q*Bert. You control Erbert on his pyramid of cubes, and hop him about the cube tops to change their colours and, of course, avoid the bouncing balls, Coily the snake and, in this version, Boris the ape. There are two rotating disks which you can use for transport from level to level, but take care not to leap off into the void.

Erbert is a large, purple, trumpet-nosed creature who can jump up or down and left or right. It takes a little while to get used to the controls and this isn't helped by the fact that you can't choose your favourite keys.


At the top left of the display there's a message which shows you the colour you're aiming for and extra points can be gained by nicking Boris's banana. There are ten levels, each of which can be played at fast or slow speed, and you can select your starting level.

The colours are well-chosen, the figures move very nicely indeed and there are no attribute problems. Let's hope the quality of the graphics will inspire other programmers to make more of the Amstrad's undoubtedly good facilities.

There isn't really very much to the game - mind you, there never was. But it's a pity Microbyte didn't add a few extras to take the game beyond its basic format. Even so, Er*Bert is a competent version of the game which, old-fashioned and crude by today's standards, still deserves a place in your games collection.

Bryan Skinner

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