Commodore Collection Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

Personal Computer News


Commodore Collection
By Mogul
Commodore 64

 
Published in Personal Computer News #061

Good, bad and mediocre - a C64 compendium rated by Nick Rann.

Commodore Collection

Good, bad and mediocre - a C64 compendium rated by Nick Rann

Fire Ant

Not the game for anti-monarchist Willie Hamilton. Our intrepid anti-hero must scuttle through eight Scorpion-infested chambers to rescue his imprisoned Queen. To succeed you must plan a campaign to sneak past ever vigilant Scorpion patrols who guard the sacred wench, tails-a-quiver.

Within these pestilent walls lies a trail of mysterious objects. Piece together their significance and you could be off down the secret passage to anthills anew and a plateful of Kentucky fried larvae. Lose your way and it's a quick jab to the antrum, loss of life and raw eggs for a fortnight.

Worse still, should you reach the last chamber, Her Majesty is not amused and hastily despatches you a rescue her

Maiden Aunt. A likely story, but this joystick-only game will have all six feet stomping in frustration as your brilliant strategy is thwarted time and again by the persistent Scorpions.

Fire Ant is compulsive and enduring entertainment, combining high-quality graphics with a thoughtfully constructed plot. Don't show your friends - you'll never get another go.

Zodiac

This time it's your turn to chase the Scorpion - plus the eleven other signs of the Zodiac. There you are in the vaults of Time, not knowing whether you're Russell Grant or Dr. Who, expected to perform a fabulous mission to recover the missing Zodiac signs.

Inching menacingly towards you as they multiply are the signs' fiendish captors - Jufo, Jukol and the scissor-like Jessor. One touch from any will lose you a life, as will collision with the electrified perimeters of the inky corridors. Your only weapon is a rapid-fire time-laser, rendered impotent if you dare to dally. So, throwing subtlety to the wind, it's the Astrology Yearbook placed firmly on the joystick fire-button and heads down.

The first few passages are easily cleared of aliens, collecting a couple of signs as you go. Thereafter the going gets decidedly tricky. the demons appear in endless swarms and a frenzied burst of manic laser bolts precedes almost inevitable destruction. If you manage to return all twelve signs to the Time Vaults the angry masters will dispossess you and scatter your treasures in the domain of Jemon - your fiercest adversary.

From the turbo-load to the last of the Jukol, Zodiac is a fast game with few frills, designed for addicts of non-stop arcade-style action. I found it hard to sustain interest in the meagre plot but taken with sharp sound and crisp graphics Zodiac will certainly have you seeing stars.

Dinky Doo

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to bed - along comes Dinky Doo with his light-hearted spoof on spooks. Cheese butties before bobos have given little Dinky Doo nightmares. Hot milk is the answer but a ghoul-ridden subconscious voyage lies between Dinky and his plastic beaker. Using keyboard or joystick, you must guide our hapless chum around electrified walls, slippery snakes, skulls and the other mobile horrors which haunt the murky recesses of his dream.

Upon reaching the hot milk, these nocturnal apparitions become benevolent cherries which, when eaten, boost your score. Next, hoping to find Mum, Dinky hotfoots it through the door, only to find he's still dreaming and the second of fifteen increasingly difficult ghost walks awaits.

Smooth graphics and interesting visual displays, combined with eerie sound effects and a smattering of good humour make for some amusing fun in this Merseyside sleep drama. The Beatles' When I'm 64 is the opening theme tune - but you'll need to be wide awake if Dinky is to make it past six.

Zylogon

Meanwhile, back in hyperspace, Big G promises three-dimensional joystick action with isometric projection in this cosmic quibble. Just for the hell of it (or to save mankind, if you prefer) you must annihilate the Zylogons.

In the first of two stages, your craft zig-zags around the Zylos' Lego fortresses, keeping an eye out for sporadic missiles. The missiles approach in pairs, and launching retaliatory bombs on a three-dimensional trajectory requires accurate judgement of height and range.

Unfortunately, the axis on which your ship manoeuvres combined with patchy graphics impair the 3D effect. However, I found the juddering motion of the byte-wide diagonal scroll induced exactly the kind of psychosis needed to combat the awesome droids anticipated in stage two.

No such luck - the polymorphic Zylogons who resemble anything from a gas lamp to a baby grand, attack diagonally in wave formation only occasionally breaking rank to avoid systematic destruction from your twin lasers. In fact, the biggest headache of lower skill levels is diminishing fuel supply.

Indifferent production mars this otherwise palatable game which attempts to expand the traditional invaders theme.

Odyssey

Homer would have choked on a kebab. More of an oddity than an Odyssey, the title belies what is basically an anthology of 'Micro-Greats' from K-Tel.

In the first of five vaguely related screens, I found myself in well-charted Invader territory, going hell for leather on the joystick at hordes of Plague Pests shuffling smartly across the horizon. At the ninth attempt I reached 2,000 points and progresses to ensuing shooting matches with an egg, a Robo-crab and various alien ships - sounds familiar?

Snappy graphics and a professional presentation enhance the fast machine code action which certainly makes Odyssey a bit of a tough nut, even for seasoned campaigners. Challenging or tedious - you'll have to decide, but strategy it lacks; original it isn't and an Odyssey...never.

Mike GerrardNick Rann

Other Commodore 64 Game Reviews By Mike Gerrard


  • Aztec Front Cover
    Aztec
  • The Hitchhikers' Guide To The Galaxy Front Cover
    The Hitchhikers' Guide To The Galaxy
  • Return To Eden Front Cover
    Return To Eden
  • African Safari Front Cover
    African Safari
  • The Saga Of Erik The Viking Front Cover
    The Saga Of Erik The Viking
  • Kamikaze Front Cover
    Kamikaze
  • Emerald Isle Front Cover
    Emerald Isle
  • Choc A Block Charlie Front Cover
    Choc A Block Charlie
  • Dragonword Front Cover
    Dragonword
  • Demons Of Topaz Front Cover
    Demons Of Topaz