Crash


Super Hair
By BitmapSoft
Spectrum 128K/+2/+3

 
Published in Crash #4

Super Hair

Mr. Hair has finally done it. He's completed his trilogy. His first 'hair-raising' adventure seems like a long time ago and now, fresh from going all Seth Brundle on us in 2020's Mr. Hair And The Fly, he's now taken it upon himself to get all Clark Kent on us. Well, Superman I mean. But you know, same person and all that.

By saying that, I mean he's donned a cape and taken to the skies to protect his beloved planet of Hairtooine, which is under attack from the vile, evil mutant Empire! He's the planet's only hope, so you have a lot of pressure on your shoulders in ensuring Mr. Hair doesn't come a cropper against the creatures attempting to take over your world. If Mr. Hair had shoulders himself, I'm sure he'd take some of the pressure from you, but he doesn't, so that part is all on you.

Sorry. To assist you on your quest, Mr. Hair has acquired the power of not only flight, but the ability to shoot lasers from his eyes which comes in handy when looking to destroy anything that crosses your path. A cape alone wouldn't really do much.

Paul Davies

Superhair

The first thing I'll mention is the aesthetics, which give the game a nice shine. From the lovely looking loading screen and the quite brilliant music (both beeper and AY) throughout the game. The super detailed image of Mr. Hair that surrounds that gameplay area is a joy to look at too.

Along the bottom of the play area you'll see your score, damage level and amount of lives. What I would pay particular attention to is the 'damage' section, as this shows how much you've taken and gives you a guide as to when you'd better stop scraping yourself along the scenery (I promise I don't keep doing this).

The game scrolls from left to right as Mr. Hair flies majestically, his cape flapping away in the wind as he prepares to take on the onslaught of enemies that come his way. There are various types of bad guy to beat, each applying their own individual attack patterns. It's well worth memorising these attack waves or you'll soon find Mr. Hair exploding into smithereens as you yet again attempt to pass them.

I find the best way to stay alive is to keep that thumb of yours trigger-happy - hammering your Space bar or Fire button is the way to go, as the enemies are plentiful and there's no time to waste just admiring the scenery. You can of course choose to manoeuvre your way (or at least try) around each wave and just shoot when you need to, but then you also need to navigate your way around the screen.

With many energy sapping structures around the place, I find it most helpful to try and deal with these without the extra worry of dodging enemies too. You'll also discover that you need to work out which path to take as you fly through the skies, as some of the avenues will lead to a dead end and a dead Mr. Hair. The game is not very forgiving in this respect (well, I guess it's your own fault if you fly into a wall) and the bosses also take a lot of patience and practice to beat.

Overall, Superhair is a well constructed game which plays well, if not a little on the tough side - but I think that with enough practice, you'll find a lot of enjoyment is to be had. And maybe, just maybe, one day I'll finally get to kill that boss and see level 2. One day...

Gordon King

Cards on the table - I'm not a fan when an already established series of games changes genres. This is my dilemma with Superhair, but I'll be fair, honest and to the point. Lee Chops' games always come with a lovely professional polish. There's fab presentation, mood-inspiring music (Tron Legacy fans need to lend their ears to one tune in particular), and there's always plenty of great artwork to lay your eyes upon.

The small play area is the game's weakest point, with more visuals spent on the surrounding frame. However, the level design is rather good (apart from the pesky dead ends), and the scrolling is lovely. The boss fights are far too tough to the point of making me furious - absolute raging I was. I've had reasonable fun with it, but I much prefer its platform genre over this.

Comments

Control Keys: Q, A, O, P, SPACE.
Joystick: Sinclair.
Graphics: Lovely and detailed.
Sound: Quite superb tunes in both beeper and AY. FX simple but works well. Added speech is a nice bonus!
General Rating: A tough, but fun, shooter with some visual and aural delights to be enjoyed.

Paul DaviesGordon King

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