The Equalizer (The Powerhouse) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

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The Equalizer
By The Power House
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Zzap #25

The Equalizer

Disaster! Stone-age man's girlfriend has been captured, and is at this moment being held captive somewhere further up the evolutinary ladder. Infuriated by this, our Neanderthal Hero is about to risk life and limb to get her back.

His quest takes place across eighteen horizontally scrolling landscapes, each representing a different evolutionary timescale. All manner of creatures attempt to bar his progress, their form depending on the timescale currently occupied: the first screen is inhabited by snails and lizards, while birds and insects appear later. Contact with these creatures is fatal, but they can be destroyed by a carefully aimed club. Other hazards to be avoided include large chasms and rocks, both of which appear at intervals throughout the landscape and prove deadly to the apeman.

Fruit is scattered along the landscape, suspended in the air until the apeman collects it. A special piece of fruit hangs at the end of a level, causing a heart to appear when picked. Touching the heart transports the hairy hero to the next, more difficult screen.

An energy bar counts down at the top of the display, showing the time remaining to finish the screen. When this runs out, a life is lost and the caveman restarts from the beginning of the current level.

RE

It's strange - The Equalizer has some kind of appeal. It looks incredibly silly, but plays well. I found it quite addictive, not because it's a marvellous game, it's just that there's a compulsion to play through the levels.

It's quite easy to get into, as the level of play becomes harder as you progress - more foes, more tricky leaps. There's plenty to keep you occupied, and possibly it's worth two quid of your cash.

JR

So! The Equalizer (uttered in throaty deep tones like a certain lager advert... then suddenly swtiches to a high-pitched squeal of surprise) is a little kiddy in a nappy?

I was expecting some sort of all-powerful armed-to-the-teeth superhero... Oh well! This isn't too bad. It's colourful, mildly addictive and fairly challenging, and should keep any player amused for a few days.

Look this up if you've already bought all of the other good budget games...

SJ

The title of this game is slightly misleading, but behind the facade is a simplified but playable version of Wonder Boy. The backdrops are colourful and the sprites are very cute.

The urge to progress past the first couple of screens is quite strong, and it's a challenge which will not be easily conquered. There are a few bugs - especially in the sprite locations (where animals appear under the ground and so on), but this does not detract too much.

Not the best budget game ever, but far from the worst.

Verdict

Presentation 70%
Misleading title, but a useful restart feature and a fine audio track included.

Graphics 71%
Colourful backdrops and characters.

Sound 53%
Decent effects and an average soundtrack.

Hookability 68%
The bascic mixture of shooting and platform action proves moderately addictive.

Lastability 56%
Quite a challenge to progress to the later levels - and there are enough of them.

Value For Money 72%
Adequately entertaining for the price.

Overall 60%
Not entirely a waste of time - but far from an essential purchase.