Orpheus (CRL) Review | Crash - Everygamegoing


By Visions
Spectrum 16K

Published in Crash #5


The instructions on this game contained on the screen are written in a specially designed character set. It seems odd that programmers can go to the trouble of doing this and then say a 'missile flys' at you and that it is 'indestructable'.

No one is perfect, and typographical mistakes can occur and fail to be spotted, but there should be no excuse for such poor spelling in a game intro. As for the intro, it describes Orpheus as being a task to deliver a secret document to headquarters by way of an enemy occupied tunnel. The enemy will send Tai fighters at you, which by some odd freak of nature are alternately destructible and indestructable.

There are land-based objects like Quarsar silos (remember those?), fuel dumps and etcs. (whatever they are).

The screen view is looking down the length of the tunnel which is represented by two converging lines and a ragged tunnelish line which zooms out in four frames to convey movement. The various land-based objects (etcs. must be the purple pyramids) grow bigger as you fly over them. After a while the fighters come out and then a real protagonist with heat seeking missiles.


Control keys: Get this - I= up, B=down, F=left, H=right, 5= bomb, U= fire laser. Despite cursor key joystick selection the cursors don't work as a key layout.
Joystick: Kempston, ZX 2, AGF, Protek
Keyboard play: virtually impossible
Use of colour: fair
Graphics: extremely poor
Sound: fair
Skill levels:
Lives: 3

Comment 1

'I can't understand how on earth C.R.L. can keep going up and down like this! Orpheus is simply terrible! It's unplayable and silly. Describing it as being in 3D is like trying to describe a slide show as Star Wars. The graphics are pre-Spectrum, jerky, undetailed and the game is played on the most bizarre and difficult layout I have ever come across. With both bombs and laser fire, it seems pointless saying it can be played on cursor joysticks or interfaces. My programmable interface left me with a strange problem - dropping a bomb resulted in the fighter plunging to the base of the cavern and exploding. Awful.'

Comment 2

'What on earth are Qasar Silos? Reading the blurb on the inlay, it says, -Unbelievable 3D Arcade Action ...' Well, I could just about see the 3D effect - but where's the arcade action? Judging the fighter's position relative to the cavern walls, floor or ceiling is impossible. Bombing causes problems with AGF or Protek interfaces as the fighter has to be moved downwards to enable the bombs to be released - great, just crash into ground installations and you might score some points. The graphics are very jerky and slow down by almost half when the laser or bombs are used. Also, as there is no time/fuel limit, you can leave your fighter hanging in space and go off for tea. A very uninteresting and unplayable game.'

Comment 3

'After reading what it has to say on the cover of this game, I thought Orpheus was going to be a mega brill shoot 'em up game (all in one breath too). I was wrong! The graphics and the game are far below average. Shooting things seemed to be difficult. Getting killed was equally difficult unless I ran into the cave walls (which is easy enough as there is no graphic indication of where they are). I was disappointed with the game - there should be (probably is) a law against misleading cassette cover blurbs!'

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