Sinclair User16th February 1988
Published in Sinclair User #74
Players. So phenomenally flabbergastingly good over the past few months, that we get terribly excited when we hear that a new launch is planned. So when Denizen was announced we found ourselves in need of a good hosing down and a long hanging out to dry.
Denizen, true to arcade tradition, conies complete with completely spurious storyline. Jabba McGut has taken over a plutonium reprocessing plant high above the earth, and it's down to you to chuck him out.
First impressions of Denizen will make you feel all flushed and wobbly. The graphics are just knock out, well up to the standard of previous Players' epics. The game is played plan-view. Beginning on Level One, there's first a maze of corridors, wonderfully detailed. Scattered around the corridors are various pass cards which are necessary to open gates to other sectors. Also scattered around the place are fly like things which are hell bent on getting their tasty sticky tongues wrapped around you and draining you to death. It's a bit like Gauntlet really.
So, off you go, picking up the keys, snuffing the flies and looking for the torch. The torch. Necessary to light up the darker areas of the complex, but don't ask me what difference that makes in life 'cos I've not found the darned thing yet. Search also for explosive bolts, necessary to jettison Jabba and all his contaminated muck.
Coupled with this exciting, thrill-a-minute gameplay is a natty little computerised display at the bottom of the screen showing pass keys held, remaining ammunition, score and heart rate. The slower your heart rate, the more danger you're in. Heart rate stops, you're dead.
Denizen is certainly on the tasty side. Sadly the gameplay's just a bit on the tedious side. You'd think that there's so much going on that there'd hardly be a second to breathe. Not true. Your little man ("well he can't walk very fast can he, not in that space suit") trundles around very slowly. The grizzly flies on level one, the ghastly plant-like things on level two and the radioactive blurgs on level three don't seem terribly worried about going for your guts, they'll happily meander around the place, and if they happen to bump into you, all well and good.
Add to this the fact that your remarkable, 'state of the art' self loading rifle acts in the manner of an aerosol gun, two slow puffs and off goes yer fly, and you'll find yourself with a game that looks remarkably pretty but is actually not dreadfully exciting to play.
Denizen isn't up to Joe Blade standard. It looks remarkably pretty, but the gameplay lags behind. Still, if you've got the patience to keep at it. you may find it rewarding. Me, I got fed up when my lifeform gets terminated for no apparent reason.
Some toothsome graphics but rather dull gameplay. Still, OK for the price.