Germ Crazy (Electronic Zoo) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power


Germ Crazy
By Electronic Zoo
Amiga 500

 
Published in Amiga Power #3

Germ Crazy

You've doubtless played Sim City, and ever-so-possibly Sim Earth too (if not, on an Amiga) so now why not have a crack at 'Sim Body' - or Germ Crazy, as it's actually called?

It's kind of a 'body simulator' (hence the crap intro) in which you've got to ensure the smooth running of your patient by fighting off any baddies (or 'germs') that attack him. A bit like the board game 'Operation' ('My turn to operate!'), only the funny bone doesn't keep disappearing between the various pieces of cardboard.

And you'll certainly have your work cut out for you, with your limbs and several major organs to keep tabs on, and the threat of viral infection from all quarters. Rather more pressing, though, is the phenomenal number of icons and sub-menus you'll have to wade through in order to get anything to happen.

They're jolly confusing indeed - there's a different icon for just about everything, and none of them are in the least bit intuitive - which is the main reason for the slightly middling mark down there. (Go on, have a peek!)

Returning to the plot side of things, how about a rundown of what you've got to do? Right, the body is split into several sections, each of which is vulnerable to attack. In order to stave off infection you've got a range of 'agents' available, which range from antibodies to microscopic tanks and laser guns. These can be assembled into armies and marched around the body (via the blood stream) to where they're needed most, which is where strategy and planning enter the arena. You can probably afford to lose the odd arm here and there, but if a major organ goes down, you're in trouble. Other things to consider are eating/sleeping, drugs and hospital treatment.

So what we've got, then, is an original and probably quite challenging strategy game that's suffocating under the vast amount of guff that's been heaped onto it. The impossibly steep learning curve (you've really got to learn the whole manual off by heart before you can begin to even think about a tentative first game) is largely a result of all those unfathomable icons, most of which would best be trimmed away in favour of a few drop down menus or something. I suspect that what lurks underneath is actually quite simple and probably quite easy to play if you're the game designer, but for the rest of us it's a nightmare and you're unlikely to have the patience to really persevere. It's an interesting idea which seems to have got a bit out of hand somewhere along the line.

The Bottom Line

It all sounds like fun on paper, but the way it's been put together is far from satisfactory. A shame, really.

Jonathan Davies

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