Spooked (Players Premier) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


By Players
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #58


After the movie ghostbusters, and the 'real' cartoon series, make way for Gerard's Ghost-catching services. You're Gerard and you've just got a call from 255 Pine Road. After switching on the answerphone, it's off to the scene of the haunting for some spooky arcade-adventuring.

As it turns out, 255 Pine Road is not in the nicest of neighbourhoods. Within a stone's throw are the remains of a burnt-down chemical plant, Alcatraz prison and an Indian burial ground now used by the Hit-Kixx-Clan Squad devil worshippers (who presumably sacrifice budget games by Ocean and US Gold).

Once inside the house you find the decor, and size (384 rooms) to be typical of flick-screen Spectrum arcade adventures. Of course, there's plenty of ghosts and skeletons bouncing around - contact with them briefly knocks you out, draining time from an egg-timer at the top of the screen.


To fight back you should collect two worms and take them to the purple cauldron: a swift bit of potion-brewing will give you a lightning spell to zap the blighters with. Other ingredients will give you more powerful. But your ultimate objective is to collect beetles, maggots and butterflies to put in special cauldrons for letter spells. When you've got enough you can enter a marble doorway and confront a 'spooky old man' who'll play hangman with you.

Spooked has another novel touch, in that every four minutes you lose a life unless you top up the time limit by touching one of the egg-timer icons scattered through the game. But an apparently endless continue-play option obviously reduces the difficulty level.

While visually and sonically very much a Spectrum game, the sprites all have a certain charm and there's plenty of novel touches. Worth considering, in short, if you like mapping games.