Mutant Herd Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

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Mutant Herd
By Thorn EMI
Commodore Vic 20

 
Published in Personal Computer News #003

Nuclear Round-up

Introduction

Mutant Herd comes as a welcome relief from the laser-bombing space invasions of the conventional arcade game. It is certainly an aggressive game, but it's a bit less mindlessly savage than the average alien shootout.

Here, at any rate, you have to herd hostile creatures around the screen rather than slaughter them wholesale.

Objective

"A swarm of scurrying mutant entities must be herded away from their objective - a pulsating nuclear powerhouse, in the centre of the screen, whose plutonium they crave.

There's also a second part to the game, in which you must destroy the burrows and queen of the mutant herd. One or two players can take part.

First Impressions

Mutant Herd comes as a ROM cartridge to slot into the expansion port of the Vic. It's supplied in Thorn EMI's standard big, chunky plastic box.

In Play

Like most games of its type, Herd really needs a joystick to be enjoyed. You can control it from the keyboard, but I didn't find it all easy to play in this way.

The game was an unmitigated success with the kids who tried it.

They didn't seem to miss the zap-pow violence of the more common type of invaders game and they rated it highly for lasting interest. Can there be a greater accolade?

There is no way of setting the skill level of the game - it just gets more and more difficult.

In the second part of the game, things get harder too. You have a purple mutant-slayer under your control but this can be expensive because if you manage to guide if off the screen instead of into the burrows, you lose a life.

The sounds are the kind of noises you have learned to expect computerised mutants to make, and the graphics are rudimentary but effective.

Verdict

Mutant Herd has pitched it just about right. It's difficult enough to stretch most players' hand-eye co-ordination, yet it is not so difficult that you'll be forced to give up in disgust.

And it is original to have an SF game in which there is almost no death and destruction. It could even become a classic.

Karl DallasMax Phillips