Terror Of The Deep
Something strange is happening in the depths of Loch Ness - and it's nothing to do with Nessy. The loch has become infested with potentially dangerous alien creatures - and you have been chosen to eradicate the source of this alien threat. So, in the comfort of an ageing diving bell, you are lowered to the lake's bed and your mission begins...
The screen displays a view out of the diving bell - beneath this is a series of switches used to control the craft, adjusting its speed and direction. Moving the joystick left or right causes a hand to move across the controls, which are activated by pushing the joystick up or down.
Attached to the top of the craft is a spotlight, used to illuminate your surroundings, and oxygen is circulated via a hand-pump. Energy is in short supply, so every so often you have to turn a wheel (situated at the bottom right of the screen) to boosts your energy level - at the expense of a loss of fuel. A limited supply of spears is also kept on board, along with two bombs - the fire button is used to launch either weapon.
Amongst the harmless fish swimming around are aggressive aliens, which must be eradicated. The spears can be used to destroy these aliens, and more importantly, stop them clinging to the edge of the diving bell. Electrifying the hull disposes of any aliens that make it through your defences.
When your supply of spears is exhausted, or energy is low, you can call up to the supply ship for more supplies by using the klaxon - two blasts for fuel, one for ammunition. Supplies are sent down to the bell's current location, which means you have to stay put. However, a stationary craft attracts the attention of a ghastly creature which tries to attach itself to the bell. It can be detached with an electric shock, but if it is left there too long your craft is destroyed.
Following the fish leads you to the source of the alien power - which is where your two bombs come in handy. If things get too hot to handle though, you can always resurface and replenish supplies, before descending once more into the dark depths...
Terror Of The Deep has some superficial similarities to The Eidolon - mainly because of the Victorian design of the control panel. Sadly, this doesn't have the atmosphere or playability of Lucasfilm's classic game, and after exploring the depths of Loch Ness for a couple of hours, I lost interest.
The attention to detail is commendable, but Terror Of The Deep doesn't offer enough, um, depth to warrant the price tag.
Initially interesting and exciting, this complicated looking arcade adventure tends to pall when you've sat around for a while shooting things. I thought that Terror Of The Deep was going to have the same sort of depth of plot as The Eidolon, but unfortunately it involves little more than mastering the controls and then trying to fend off the attacking aliens.
Some of the denizens are imaginatively drawn and well animated, but the sound is a bit on the poor side and spoils the atmosphere. If you like your action fast and immediate - try something else.
There is a lot of atmosphere here of the type that made The Eidolon such a great game. But unfortunately the task is rather dull - just shooting alien creatures. Still, it's not just a question of blasting away, as some thought has to go into maintaining "life support systems" to stay alive.
The graphics are intricately detailed, especially the sea creatures and the interior of the ball. I could have really enjoyed this if there was a little more plot - but there isn't enough variety to sustain the initial interest.
Neat control system and adequate documentation.
Detailed instrument panel, but the sprites are quite crude.
Ghastly title tune and weak spot FX.
A bit overwhelming at first, but engrossing enough to be addictive.
Atmospheric, but lacking variety.
Value For Money 53%
Plenty of depth, but not enough game.
A potentially exciting concept which fails to make the grade.