Commodore User


Thundercats

Author: Gary Whitta
Publisher: Elite
Machine: Amiga 500

 
Published in Commodore User #60

Thundercats

To be honest, I wasn't overly thrilled when I first heard that Elite had signed up the kiddie's cartoon Thundercats for conversion, primarily because there's not a lot you can do with a cartoon concerning five cat-like mutants and their battle against an Egyptian mummy. All my suspicions were confirmed with the 8-bit versions were released back in '87. It was indeed quite a drab and boring game.

Before I start moaning, which I inevitably will, I'll give you a brief rundown of the plot. Lion-o, Lord of the Thundercats was happily residing on Third Earth, an alien planet, along with his feline buddies, when Mumm-ra, a pretty nasty chap with big muscles covered in bandages, came along and nicked the all-powerful Eye of Thundera, the source of the Thundercat's power (Yaawn). Lion-o is understandable a bit miffed and sets about, under your control, entering the domain of Mumm-ra to get it back. What all this adds up to is basically Rolling Thunder with cats. Not very promising.

Lion-o runs from left to right across a series of changing backgrounds on his quest for the Eye of Thundera, and is provided with a sword with which to deal with the blood-hungry minions that Mumm-ra sends out to thwart your progress. A quick stab of the fire button will send an enemy to meet its maker by dissolving it in stunning Amiga-vision.

Thundercats

As you make your way across the landscape, you'll come across water-filled abysses that must be jumped over to progress. Mis-time your jump and porr' ol' Lion-o takes an early bath, and as cats hate water so much, he loses a life in the process. Lion-o can also lose a life by running into an enemy. The enemies are pretty fiendish, and vary from catmen, both large and small, and, on later levels, falcons and armoured wolfmen, who patrol the rocky platforms suspended above the water (particularly on level 2). Extra lives are available by hitting pots held in the air with your sword, and more powerful weapons, such as a laser gun are also available in this way.

Unlike a lot of Amiga software today, Thundercats makes no effort to look like an Amiga game. It's very similar to the ST version, which was no great shakes anyway. Although the sprites are reasonably well defined, the backdrops are bland, and animation surprisingly poor. The music is nothing to shout about (unless you want to shout "Turn that bloody awful music off!") and is accompanied by rather lacklustre in-game FX. The actual game itself is of a very poor quality, consisting of little more than 'run-bash-run-bash' monotony. There may be an initial attraction to get through the first couple of levels, but after that, the consistently uninteresting gameplay will soon have you reaching for the power switch.

Elite have released a couple of right corkers on the Amiga in the shape of Buggy Boy and Ikari Warriors, and both Paperboy and Ghosts 'N Goblins look set to be equally impressive. With such a long string of releases in such a short time, there had to be a duff one in there somewhere. And here it is.

Gary Whitta

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