A&B Computing1st September 1985
Published in A&B Computing 2.09
The instructions on the inlay card supplied with the cassette are clear, concise and well explained.
The graphics are excellent being clear and colourful with smooth movement and scrolling. The action is accompanied on the BBC by a rather jolly rendition of a Scott Joplin Rag which, like all the sound effects, can be switched off if they become too repetitious.
The object of the game is to tunnel a well-animated reptile-like creature, after whom the game is named, around the screen collecting diamonds whilst avoiding falling rocks and lurking lizards. Control of Repton is by way of keyboard only which I found to be responsive and accurate.
There are twelve screens (A-L), with full maps available for screens A to H. I found these essential in the early stages, as only one sixteenth of the actual playing area is displayed at any one time. By the time later screens are reached, the absence of maps is compensated for by experience. I found stages I to L no more difficult than previous map-assisted stages as I was now familiar with the thinking behind the various puzzles, although investigating the perils took a little longer.
In play the game seems to be loosely based upon the arcade game DIG DUG, combined with what appears to be a novel variation of the old "moving block puzzles" in as much as the way the rocks and lizard eggs have to be moved in sequence in order to get at some of the diamonds.
Rocks will only fall if the area around them is disturbed. The lizards, in the main, lie dormant and are only released if the eggs containing them are broken. Once released these can only be killed by falling rocks. On some screens eggs have to be broken to get at the diamonds, therefore careful planning is required to avoid releasing the lizard before the majority of diamonds have been collected. Safes and keys are also encountered. Collection of the keys is vital as the safes, which contain further diamonds, can only be opened when the keys are located. Each screen has to be cleared of all diamonds within a set time otherwise one of your four lives is automatically lost.
A good feature of this game is that upon completion of each screen a password is revealed which can be used to gain access to the next screen. Once known screens can be selected at will by use of the password. With their usual attention to detail, Superior Software has left space on the inlay card for the recording of all passwords.
I completed the game after about ten hours but fear not, I have no intention of entering the competition myself. The real skill however, lies in completing all twelve screens from start to finish in one go.
In my opinion it is not one of the hardest games I have ever played. For the hardened games player Repton may prove a little too easy but, for those of us mere mortals, the game provides an exciting challenge with a good balance between reward and failure. Because of this I found the game very playable, highly addictive and thoroughly enjoyable.