Computer Gamer1st March 1987
Published in Computer Gamer #24
Terror Of The Deep
It's a braw bricht moonlicht nicht and wee Nessy is aw richt, ye ken. MacMirrorsoft's game has a loch to offer.
After tearing around the skies with Biggles and striking forcefully in a Harrier, Mirrorsoft are now plumbing the depths of Loch Ness to protect the Monster from alien sea creatures.
For the challenge of the Terror Of The Deep we plunge back back to the era of Jules Verne and a time when strange meteorites were seen streaking down into Loch Ness. Scottish newspaper mogul, MacSwell has a nose for a good story and a reporter from the Scottish Sentinel is monitoring the progress of an intrepid explorer. Guess who? For a clue, look in the mirror!
Reports of strange creatures rising from the murky depths at night and terrorising locals could be the result of a dram too many, but it's true.
Your task has been inherited from an eccentric old engineer who has bequeathed his diving bell to you. Using this extraordinary craft, you have to search out and destroy the meteorite-borne monsters.
After giving a suitable diving point to the captain of the surface ship, you are lowered into the deep waters of the loch. All you have to go on is the legible parts of an old notebook which you found on the floor of the bell. Very little was readable but the entries mentioned spores which attach to the stationary craft and join together, pods which glow before they hatch, the presence of evil crystals, one of which is the source.
Further information gleaned from the book warns you not to harm Nessie (presumably at the request of the Scottish Tourist Board, what else has Scotland got to offer?). You are also informed that the fish in the Loch swim away from the crystals.
The control panel is very easy to operate and I found that keyboard control is preferable to joystick because it offers greater accuracy. All fourteen controls are operated by an animated hand which adds interest to the game (I'm easily amused).
Apart from the necessary controls for depth and movement, you also have to manually pump air down occasionally and keep cranking the generator to produce power from a seaweed and water combination.
As you wander through the dark waters of the loch you can pivot smoothly around to look in every direction. For the technically minded, this is achieved by switching back and forth from hi-res to defined characters and back again. You also have a klaxon which can be sounded to gain fresh supplies of fuel or spears as the need arises.
Despite a slight slowness in gameplay, this is a fairly addictive package and you soon learn how to keep in the thick of the action. The graphics are a lot more complex than they at first appear to be and the music is thankfully relegated to the news reports which inform you of your progress at the end of the game.