Games Update

Author: Mike Williams
Publisher: Impact
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in Beebug #67

Mike Williams brings you the latest update on games for the new year

Games Update


In our previous issue we covered some of the new games available for Christmas and the New Year. However, the latest mega-game from Superior Software, Exile, dropped onto the editorial desk just too late to be included. From the pre-release hype, Exile is clearly intended to convey the same aura of excitement as did Elite when that was first released by Acorn. There are some similarities, the short story to set the scene and the fiendishly complicated controls once the game starts, but a game in the mould of Elite it is not.

Despite that, Exile is an excellent game in its own right, an action-packed adventure on the surface of an alien planet as you try to fulfil your mission to destroy the evil Triax and his phalanxes of hideous mutated maggots. It may sound laughable, but the animated and spacesuited figure is remarkably realistic, and the real cries of pain have to be heard to be believed.

Exile is a challenge that I am sure will keep the best of games players puzzled and bamboozled for quite a time; certainly I made only a meagre impact. It is not cheap, but still represents excellent value for money.

Play It Again Sam 5

Superior has also released yet another compilation disc. Yes, you guessed it. It's Play It Again Sam 5. This time the barrel seems to have been scraped that bit harder to come up with the goodies. Best by far are two classics in their time, the three-dimensional Fortress, originally from Pace, and the irritatingly addictive Bug Blaster (and there were many imitations) from Alligata.

The other two games are Imogen, a rather delightful graphic adventure from Micro Power involving a wizard, a cat and a monkey, and lots of tantalising puzzles, and Elixir, a rather odd game to say the least, in which poor old Cyril tries to find the right pills in the chemist's shop to return him to his normal size. Electron owners get Micro Power's Moonraider as an alternative to Fortress.

Older Beeb owners may get twangs of nostalgia from these names from the past, but this does not seem to be one of the better Play It Again Sam releases. In fact, it's rather like the curate's egg, good in parts, and a toss-up as to whether it's worth the money.

Impact Software

The last two games, both from Impact Software, are Zenon, a typical arcade-style action game for one or two players, and Clogger, where it is necessary to solve tests of initiative and imagination to achieve the highly desirable Master Clogger status.

Zenon reminds me a bit of Stryker's Run, but is more confusing and not as good. Clogger is in the style of Repton, as you mine your way through the underground tunnels, but the final objective of locating and assembling pieces of a jigsaw seems rather weak. However, if you liked Repton then you'll probably like this. Both the Impact games are at budget prices, but even so I would have expected more for my money.

Too late for more than just a mention, Superior has released Repton Infinity (same prices as Exile), claimed as the ultimate Repton program, where you can design your own games in addition to the four provided.

Mike Williams

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