A&B Computing1st January 1987
Published in A&B Computing 4.01
He's back! Our favourite lizard is here again in the second sequel and, to get the important bit over quickly, this is the best of the three Repton games.
I have to admit to a great fondness for these games but I don't believe this has clouded my judgement. The game is better than we could have imagined and, at the same time, goes beyond the first two in the series in new and imaginative ways. It would have been tempting for some software houses to try and unload on an eager public an inferior game, safe in the knowledge that it would sell. Superior are to be thanked for respecting out faith and producing a game that will satisfy even the most critical.
Repton 3 combines the best elements of the first two games and then adds a few twists: from Repton we have the basic structure (of course) and a series of screens to solve and passwords to collect whilst from Repton 2 it takes the complexity and the introduction of transporters.
There are twenty-four screens (a choice of three starting screens is given and seven more load from each of those) and these are nicely diverse in terms of design, complexity and challenges offered. The usual gameplan is there (collect diamonds, kill monsters, etc) but there are some mean new twists!
Most importantly, the screens now have a time limit and the last action on completing a screen is removing a time bomb. There are some new monsters (just as deadly!) and, to make some screens really hard, the introduction of a fungus which must be blocked in before it makes parts of the screen unreachable. Golden crowns also have to be collected.
Repton designer Timothy Tyler has limited himself to screen designing this time round and the new game author is Matthew Atkinson, who has done a truly excellent job. I have played virtually nothing else since this arrived and look forward to a great deal more excitement.
For those who do complete screens (incidentally, the competition this time round will entail finishing all 24 screens in order without the use of passwords), the in-built screen designer allows the player to change the provided screens and charactes, so personalising your own game. Otherwise you can simply use it to create screens from sctatch with all the familiar elements. The designer is well thought-out and easy to use after reading the instructions several times. It is to the same high stndad as the rest of the game but space does not really allow for a full description. Just rest assured that it will allow you to do anything you might have imagined it would be fun to try with screens.
In short, this is top quality; arcade action at its very best! It will obviously sell massively, but thankfully it deserves to. The lizard is alive and well (let down only by poor graphics on the title screen). I was expecting to be disappointed by this game after the wait; I'm pleased to be able to report that this is the most enjoyable game of 1986.
No doubt there are some smart-arse arcaders out there who'll complete the game in a couple of hours, but most players will find it an extensive challenge to both mental and digital skills. Even if you complete the game, the designer will provide a great deal more enjoyment. This is a real instant classic, a game every BBC owner should own and a new standard for other programmers to aim for.
Well done, Superior! The question: What can they do now for Repton 4?