Triple Decker 4 Review | Electron User - Everygamegoing

Electron User

Triple Decker 4
By Alternative

Published in Electron User 6.02

Not too long ago it was considered to be good value if you could pick up an arcade game for £1.99 - nowadays Alternative Software is churning out three-game compilations at the same price.

A sporting theme is in evidence on Triple Decker 4, with cricket, golf and fishing as the pastimes on offer.

Howzat represents the next step up from the old fashioned, pencil, paper and dice game that was popular when I was a lad - everything is still reliant upon random numbers, but the game is acted out of the screen to add extra interest. Players' names for the two teams involved may be typed in, or you may choose to use the pre-programmed English and Australian teams.

A rapidly drawn aerial view of the pitch and players is displayed for your entertainment - the grass is green and the stick-men are black: Hardly state of the art, but adequate for this game.

From this point onwards life becomes very straightforward: The bowler bowls, the batsman bats, and you are asked whether you wish to run. Howzat is a very simple game - yet enjoyable to play.

Game number two of the compilation is Golf - for up to five players. The aim of the game is to complete the nine hole course in the least number of shots, although I doubt whether many people will have the stamina to complete a single incredibly long round.

Using any of the eight compass directions you guide a white dot along a map of the hole, eventually reaching the large black dot at the far end. All of this excitement was far too much for me, so I loaded up game number three - Fishing.

"How on earth do you translate the sport of fishing into a computer game?" I hear you ask - "Very successfully," says Alternative Software.

You are provided with such vital information as weather conditions, water speed and depth, from which you must make the correct choice of hook, bait, and weights. Out on the well-drawn river bank you decide whether to cast near or far and at what depth.

With your bait in the water you can settle back and wait. Within seconds your float will begin to twitch. Hand hovering about the Spacebar you pose, ready to strike: The float goes under completely and bang - you're into your first fish. For the ridiculous sum of 67 pence you couldn't find a better game.

TRIPLE DECKER 5 comprises two space games and a karate program. Offering number one is Starfight and represents shoot-'em-ups at their most basic.

The screen displays the view from your cockpit as you orbit the planet M101/3. A small blip appears and begins to increase in size as it approaches - using four poorly chosen keys your job is to blast the blip.

An on-screen range finder counts down as the alien ship homes in on your position - the further away the target, the more points you score if you hit it. When the range finder reaches zero, you lose your one and only life. Starfight is an ordinary game that is made worse by a terrible choice of control keys.

Skramble, as you might expect, is a horizontal scrolling zap-and-blast game. A continuous stream of alien ships and missiles fly smoothly from right to left across the screen - all you have to do is shoot them. Blasting the aliens is actually quite easy - they fly in perfectly straight lines and don't fire back.

The alien plan is to defeat you through sheer strength of numbers - after a couple of minutes flying time you will find yourself struggling to clear a path through the alien swarm. Shooting them doesn't help as this merely converts the alien into a fireball that continues on its original course. Good use of colour and smooth animation make Skramble a worthy addition to this collection.

Game number three brings you back down to earth with a bump, a kick, and a nasty looking punch. Karate Warrior is a fine looking game that has one major failing - it can only be played by two players. As with all martial arts games your success is dependent upon your ability to string together a winning combination of kicks and punches. The usual selection of 16 moves has been reduced slightly, to a grand total of four.

The two single-colour warriors perform their ritualised combat with flicker-free ease, it is such a pity that the computer is unable to defend itself - Karate Warrior could have easily been a good game.

It's worth noting that this budget collection consists of some of the best games from the pages of Electron User. In spite of the varied quality of some of them, you will have to search far and wide to find better products at this price.

* * * Second Opinion (By Janice Murray) * * *

There's something for everyone here, with three excellent sports simulations and as many exciting arcade games. The golf can become tedious as it takes so long to play, but Fishing is quite fast-paced. I enjoyed Skramble and Karate Warrior, though the latter would be better if it also had a single player option. Starfight is probably the simplest of all the games, but is nevertheless enjoyable.

Jon Revis

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