Beebug1st December 1990
Published in Beebug #87
Play It Again Sam 14
We have become familiar with Superior Software releasing collections of games, often former best sellers, under the general title of Play It Again Sam. These collections generally offer value for money and the latest, number 14 in the series, offers just as good value for money as before.
This time we even have one brand new game, Star Port, included, along with Superior's previous smash hit, Superior Soccer. The other games that make up this collection are Predator, based on the Schwarzenegger film, and Ballistix, a fast action ball game for one or two players.
Star Port is essentially a ladders and platforms game. Your task is to explore the abandoned Starport Beta, now under attack by hostile alien forces and patrolled by decidedly unfriendly robots, in order to recover five cases of medical supplies before making good your escape. Various objects are loaded within the Star Port, including supplies of oxygen and keys to open various doors, as well as additional ammunition. Superficially, like many such games, like seems comparatively easy, but much thought is required to make significant progress. Graphics and animation are about par for this type of game, which provides an interesting challenge to aspiring games players.
Predator is another game in which you have to combat an alien environment, this time a jungle, but progress here is more dependent upon the correct choice of weapon and your prowess at using it as you fight your enemies. Your ultimate aim is to outwit the alien creature which is stalking you all the time for that final, and hopefully successful, confrontation. Not my cup of tea this one, but ideal for the gamester seeking arcade style action.
Ballistix has a decidedly deja vu feel about it, and in my view is perhaps the weakest of the group. You can drive this as a one (against the computer) or two player game. It is crudely based on the bat and ball style of game which originated many years ago, though here you fire balls from a moving source to persuade a large 'puck' to enter your opponent's goal. If you can stand it, the challenge (in the one-player game) is to beat the computer over 29 levels for ultimate victory. Unfortunately, I for one do not have the tenacity to bother.
Lastly, but by no means least, this disc also contains Superior Soccer, a best seller in its own right last Christmas. For those unfamiliar with it, this features both arcade style action in one- or two-player formats, where you can pass, dribble, and head the ball as well as tackling other players, taking corners and free kicks, etc.
You can also manage your team through a season of eleven matches, initially starting in Division 4. If you come first or second in the league you are promoted to the next higher division, with the ultimate aim of becoming Division 1 league champions.
Play It Again Sam 14 is worth the cost for Superior Soccer alone, if that is the type of game which appeals to you, and the new release Star Port is well up to standard. The other two games included seem decidedly make-weights, and although others may disagree, I cannot see either of these adding significantly to the attractions of this latest games release.
This game, like all other Superior releases, is available through Beebug.