Acorn User

Savage Pond

Author: Geoff Bains
Publisher: Bug Byte
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in Acorn User #050

Uninspired Pond Life

Savage Pond is a poor attempt at making something out of nothing. The game is really a simple arcade game that involves you in little more than whizzing around the screen trying to avoid some blobs and hit others.

The scenario is anything but simple and explained very badly in the cassette sleeve notes. You are a tadpole. Not surprisingly, you are very pro-frog. The idea is to build up a colony of frogs in the local pond.

It's all very educational. You have to eat worms and amoeba and avoid the stinging hydra and the dragonfly nymphs. Dragonflies doing flypasts drop eggs which you must knock off before they hatch and other equally fascinating events occur in the busy life of the pond. Even mankind gets a look-in by dumping radioactive toxic waste.

It is true that the screen display in this game is very pretty (though rather eminiscent of a David Bellamy programme) and the movement of all the various characters is smooth and responsive to the control of both joystick and keyboard. The colours are vibrant, the characters well-designed, and so on. However, the game itself is totally uninspiring.

Bug-Byte was a big name in games software about two years ago - and not just for the BBC micro market. The name died out but has been resurrected by Argus Software. If Savage Pond is a typical example of the kind of material behind the comeback I suspect we shall not be hearing much more from them.

Geoff Bains

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