A&B Computing1st March 1988
Published in A&B Computing 5.03
Repton lives! Well, don't tell Superior or the coding team of Andreas Kemnitz, Martyn "Palace Of Magic" Howard and David Hoskins but this plays just like another of the eponymous (look it up!) series, featuring the Arcade's favourite lizard.
That, and a touch of Ravenskull perhaps. But let's not get too picky - this is great fun in its own right too. So, following the great Arcade tradition of ignoring the awful storyline, what is the game like to play?
Imagine a lizard-based game where have to collect keys to open doors, gather skeletons and avoid monsters and spiders. Ho hum. But don't despair - the game does offer several intriguing twists on this basic idea - most notably in the person of semi-zomboid Fozzy, your partner who can be positioned to protect you from monsters and so on. Not that you always need him, of course, as the first screen at least can be completed in total ignorance of his whereabouts.
Okay, I'll have to weaken and tell you the idea of the game. The review makes no sense otherwise. You, poor sap, are Bono the amiable dragon whose task is to gather skeletons' bones inside the castle - each set of five skeletons followed by a touch of a cauldron produces soap that must be delivered to the bathing monsters. Five bars of soap safely delivered move you on to the next level. Yuch city!
But, to complicate matters, you must also collect keys to open up parts of the castle and, more importantly, avoid the various nasties - the monsters, spiders and the glooks, who are attracted to the smell of soap (do me a favour, please!) and change direction every time a bar of soap is delivered.
The game plays like a combination of Repton and Ravenskull, as I've mentioned, yet it has its own charm and appeal. The graphics are great fun and nice and chunky, the gameplay involved is intricate and thoughtful and success is not won easily.
All in all, this is a game that will appeal to a section of the Beeb market - yet those eager for new adventures of the wily lizard will have recently picked up Superior's Life Of Repton and so may not be ready for similar antics. Final verdict? An intriguing reworking of some already very successful ideas which reflects well on the coding team but less well on Superior, whose reputation for original games is beginning to curl at the edges.
Still, great fun, great value, etc, etc. And to save you hunting through the Hints 'N Tips section, here are the various level passwords for the different levels and, no, they won't help you to win the competition.
Beginner, Atomic, Complex, Animal, Nominal, Cabbage, Tolerance, Overlord, Crazy Cave, Crossword, Interest, Pewter, Undertake, Collapse, Generate, Torture, Amendment, Ultimate, Monotone, Countdown, Fatigue, Sabotage, Darkness, Excalibur, Dungeon