Frak (Aardvark) Review | Acorn User - Everygamegoing

Acorn User

By Aardvark
Acorn Electron

Published in Acorn User #047

Frak introduces a new word into the vocabulary of Beeb users. It's one of those words you use when a favourite game won't load from tape, but has been coined originally by the caveman hero of this gem from Aardvark.

He shouts it out in a large yellow bubble whenever he falls from the grassy sods and ladders that it is your task to keep him on, gets picked by one of the arrows falling from the sky, bumps into a monster - or is hit by a rising pink balloon. Such are the dreadful fates awaiting him, at least in the stages of the game I reached. It's a shame he never actually shouts his word from the Beeb's speaker, but then perhaps he does later on.

The outstanding thing about all this is the graphics. Sprites are used with gay abandon, and they're the best little sprites you ever did see. The characters could have stepped right out of a Disney movie from the good old cartoon days.

And when your alterego gets one of the monsters with his only weapon (no, it's not a wooden club), the baddie goes shooting off the screen. Exit right in the extreme!

Frak represents one of the new wave of BBC games that are at last living up to the machine. It is well-crafted, amusing, and, if not totally original, is a very far step from its ancestors.

Only two gripes from this reviewer. First, had I known the word Frak, I would have used it several times trying to load the game from cassette. I loaded FORTRESS and a couple of others with no hassle, but this one took about ten tries! (To give Aardvark its due, the company promises immediate free replacement to anyone who can't load the game.)

The other gripe was trying to ring them to announce my (not very) high score and find out the real high ones. The line was engaged on eight tries over ten hours!

Frak will flog and flog. Go out, buy it, put the Aardvark services to the test if you're unlucky with your copy. This is a classic, and who knows, a first edition might be worth a few bob one day.

Bernard Emblem

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