Personal Computer News


Neptune's Daughters
By English
Commodore 64

 
Published in Personal Computer News #057

Aqua Marine

Aqua Marine

Rescuing beautiful maidens from dragons' lairs is one thing but diving down to the ocean's floor on a mercy mission is quite a different kettle of crabs.

Objectives

Down at the bottom of the ocean lives a sea serpent whose main pastime is capturing the fair daughters of Neptune and carting them off to his slimy lair. To the rescue comes our intrepid frogman. With only a harpoon for protection, he must swim through the underwater caverns, overcoming many perils along the way.

In Play

You'll need a joystick as there's no keyboard option.

Neptune's Daughters

It's a multi-screen game, each showing one part of the water kingdom. Aquaman must paddle safely from one side of the screen to the other, when the entire display will slide smoothly to the left, revealing a completely new scene. Starting on a new screen is particularly tough - the enemy is right beside you from the word go.

Aquaman's progress is not to be compared with a swim in the local Lido. He is pursued from the outset by a winking octopus. Disposing of it with the harpoon offers only temporary relief - a brother octopus soon appears to take up the chase. Luckily, Aquaman has an unlimited supply of harpoons. The caverns are rather claustrophobic in places and one touch against a wall costs Aquaman one of his five lives.

Exits and tight passages are blocked by gently waving sucker plants - they are not friendly and must be harpooned. The supply of oxygen, represented by a changing bar at the bottom of the screen, is limited. To replenish it, Aquaman must top up by desiccating swarms of killer amoeba and collecting the bubbles of air consequently released by them.

The sea serpent is bound to be a mite peckish by the time Aquaman arrives, so he'd best harpoon a monster crab. The crab must then be transported through a ruined city to reach and feed the hungry warder. The serpent is voracious - it needs five of these crabs before it will decide to have its Sunday afternoon nap. If you manage to get this far, you can release the first of Neptune's female kin.

Verdict

The game has very crisp graphics, some of which are quite spectacular. The action is fast yet smooth and the challenge never short of demanding.

Bob Chappell

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