The Â£200 Prize Looks Safe
I often feel quite guilty reviewing a game that I cannot master and Gatecrasher by Quicksilva is no exception. Mind you the only games I keep on playing are the ones I haven't mastered.
It is a game of skill and strategy - and quite a lot of luck. You control the lateral move ment of a man above the entrances to a series of under ground interconnecting tunnels.
After studying the maze you must select a particular chute down which to drop a barrel. The idea is to send the barrel into one of nine empty boxes at the base ofthe screen. Put one barrel in each box and you survive the screen. Put a barrel in a box which is already full and you lose its contents.
A few interesting little complications are built in. The direction in which a barrel moves is governed by a series of gates. Once a barrel is moving it continues until one ofthese gates changes its direction. As it does so the gate swivels ready to send the next barrel the opposite way.
If you decide that there is no path to the box of your choice, you have two options. The first is to scroll the screen either up or down, having the effect of changing the layout of the maze.
You can scroll six times in any one direction before the layout reverts to its original pattern. Your alternative is to cause an earthquake. At the press of a key the whole screen shakes and a random number of gates change direction. This costs you one barrel and. as you only have 20 and score on the number of barrels not used, this option should not be taken lightly.
There are seven screens which increase in difficulty. Quicksilva appears confident that the game will pose problems as it has offered a £200 prize for anyone who can crack the hidden code on screen seven.
You will have your work cut out to even get there, never mind any secret code!
I found the game infuriatingly addictive and it tested my strategy to its limits. However I still only managed to reach screen 4.
The graphics are good, the sound is used to excellent effect and the preselected keys quite. acceptable. It won't take the country by storm, but if I'd had to buy it I would have already had my money's worth.