Acorn User

By Virgin Games
BBC Model B

Published in Acorn User #021


Virgin has unfortunately gained a reputation for stylish presentation of mediocre games. Plankwalk may go some way towards rectifying this, but I suspect not far.

Scaffolding Sid, the hero of the game, is set on a screen of planks, blocks, 'power towers' and cherries (?) and it is your job to keep Sid on the screen by moving him left and right and jumping down from one level to the next. The planks scroll smoothly up the screen and, just to keep Sid on his toes, a small black monster chases him. Some of the planks, colour-coded for identification, have a built-in slope or are false (Sid falls straight through!).

You gain points by dropping Sid through the blocks, picking up the cherries and staying on the screen. Sid can move at two speeds, but uses energy at an appropriate rate.

The main problems with Plankwalk concern the use of graphics and the choice of colours. Sid is a simple stick man, like the one on the User Guide cover, the planks are single lines and the blocks are just that. The monster looks like a warmed-up space invader and the only attempt at multi-coloured graphics in the entire game are the cherries. Add to this the fact that both Sid and the monster are black on a dark blue background, and it all makes for a fairly uninspired use of the micro's facilities.

Simon Williams

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