A&B Computing

Superman: The Man Of Steel

Author: Dave Reeder
Publisher: Tynesoft
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in A&B Computing 6.06

Rather surprisingly, there have not been a large number of conversions of comic characters for home computers. Surprising for two reasons - the target audiences for both products are very similar and comic characters would seem to lend themselves to the peculiar graphics we've come to know and love.

And now Tynesoft, often written off as capable of producing nothing but sports simulations, has delivered the goods. An excellent game which uses rather than exploits the character of Superman and the comic book medium.

For example, before each of the seven scenarios there is a simple comic book page setting the scene, even with speed in word balloons. Pleasingly, this can be skipped past to speed up the game.

Superman: The Man Of Steel

Also quite accurate is the ridiculous plot - and I speak as an ex-avid comic collector and Jack Kirby fan who is especially pleased to see the main protagonist for Superman here is the great Kirby creation Darkseid, originally a metaphor for Satan but now just another nasty - which involves bizarre seismic activity caused by Darkseid's geo-disruptor based on a space satellite. Of course, along the way, he also gets a chance to rescue Lois Lane.

The graphics are impressive given the range of scenarios on offer - each one is okay, but together they really work. Title pages, etc are very impressive, offering some real detail and subtle shading. Gameplay is fine with a choice of Superman's powers (super breath, heat vision, flight, etc) available for each stage of the game.

A lot of thought has gone into this game - though, of course, Tynesoft is no longer just a Beeb/Elk software house and versions exist for all sorts of other machines and to good effect. There's a good feel about it, it's effective and should be in your collection, even if you're not a comics fan. Oh yes, it's also on two discs - there's so much data to load! - but, cheapskates, there's no disc sleeve! Still great game, Tynesoft and coder Kevin Blake - any sequels in the works?

Dave Reeder

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