Crash12th December 2017
Published in Crash Annual 2018
In The Walls Of Eryx
With Venusian Lizardmen, Farnoth Flies and an invisible Labyrinth you can feel you're entering the world of a twisted fantasy inspired by HP Lovecraft and Kenneth J Sterling's story of the game name. The game begins with a certain Private Stansfield standing in front of his burning spacecraft, which has crash-landed in the Erycinian Highlands of Venus, tapping his foot. The goal is to guide Stansfield through the jungles of Venus, looking for six power crystals.
However, the Venusian wildlife isn't overly fond of the gem-snatcher and seeks to end his pilfering ways. To top it off his oxygen is rapidly running out. You need him to get the power crystals, keep his oxygen topped up and survive long enough to escape the Lovecraftian 8-bit planet behind.
In The Walls Of Eryx is reminiscent of classics such as Rex or Myth, particularly in the character animation - and there are many subtle details such as our hero tapping his foot. But stop wasting time admiring nicely animated sprites!
Your resources are limited - running out of weaponry and oxygen has fatal consequences. Mastering the enemies' tactics is required to succeed here.
The game comes with a cassette cover to cut out and also a rather splendid loading screen, although on occasion the screens look the same, but for those of us that grew up gaming on the Spectrum this similar 'look and feel' selection of screens is easily forgiven.
The only real bugbear is the lack of music: there are plops and beeps when it comes to sound effects, but no music for this 128K game! It's crying out for a cool tune to run along with it. In spite of this, I found In The Walls Of Eryx enjoyable to play: it's easy to pick up, it looks good and it is rather easy to guide Stansfield around the screen. Here's another great free-to-download title you can add to your ever-expanding list of Spectrum games.
This has some nice ideas but overall it's a bit slow. Negotiating a single-path maze as the oxygen ticks away gets a bit tiresome, but when there are enemies to plot your way around or choices to be made in the mazes it becomes more interesting. There are nice touches like traps to lure the baddies into, demonstrated early on by a neat set-piece that acts like a tutorial of what's to come.
But then you get stuck with another screen that's juts about plodding and the fun goes out of it again. This isn't a maze game really. You get through one screen at a time and move onto the next. I gave it a few goes to see what came next, but I think it will need quite some patience to stick with it for longer.
Control Keys: Q, A, O, P, SPACE
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair
Use Of Colour: Limited, but no colour clash
Graphics: Nicely detailed graphics with well animated adversaries and main character
Sound: Beeps, no music
General Rating: Solid exploration-type game that can be a little slow.