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Oceano (Ego-Trip)

Reviewed By Dave E In EGG #004: Amstrad

Oceano

Oceano

Ego-Trip seems to have carved itself a rather niche little piece of the Amstrad market by producing extremely humble games in machine code. Its latest, Oceano, is a small, colourful, underwater collect-'em-up featuring a submarine on a quest to locate twenty "fabled power crystals". You won't have to venture far to find them either - some rooms even contain two of them!

There are a number of patrolling nasties of two types. The first is a robotic fish that swims back and forth getting in the way horizontally. The second is a bubble that floats up and down getting in the way vertically. The fishes can be blasted with the submarine's cannon whilst the bubbles must be avoided with your dexterous joystick-work.

It's tempting to summarise Oceano as a game you'll map out (in your head because it's so small), complete on your second go and, two days later, won't even remember. And, that being the case, you might wonder why you'd bother downloading it in the first place. The answer is that it's actually pretty relaxing to play something this mindless.

There is more challenge than that described above. Your cannon, for example, takes a while to recharge after each shot, so you need to be pretty confident that you're going to hit your mark before you taking it. Otherwise, you may find yourself on the wrong end of a pair of robotic fish jaws. And the caverns you're travelling through, whilst relatively forgiving, can be a little bit deceptive too. Yes, it may look like you can move your submarine down them but actually they are sometimes a few pixels too narrow, so you'll have to find a different way around instead.

You get a generous amount of lives and you'll only be killed off by your own mistakes, whilst graphics, music and sound are all pretty decent. It's genuinely surprising just how mellow this game makes you feel and, if you have a young child in the family that's just getting into computer gaming, this is an ideal game to practise with.

It's all classic flick-screen exploration and I did discover a small bug in that, in descending my submarine from one screen to another I suddenly found it had descended into the status bar at the bottom of the screen! Not that this bug seemed to cause a problem. I plodded around in there shooting at my own score before ascending out of it again...

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