Turrican (Rainbow Arts) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


By Rainbow Arts
Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #61


You may think all your fears and nightmares were caused by exams, and eating cheese late at night. In fact, it's all due to the three-headed monster Morgul. Many millennia ago he was banished to another dimension by the heroic Devolon, but now the demon is beginning to escape his prison. As a result, fear and terror are on the increase and most people hardly dare walk the streets! Only one man is brave enough to take on the monster responsible - and it's not Michael Heseltine. No, it's you - the Turrican!

Armed with the very latest in hi-tech baddie-blasters you've sent off to Morgul's dreaded kingdom. The land is split into five levels, three of which have three sections, and two have just two sections. These thirteen sections comprise 1,300 screens!

The Turrican is obviously an action-packed guy: he can duck, jump, lay mines, throw grenades, and even transform into a spinning gyroscope which can zoom through small gaps.

Pressing fire briefly causes either the laser or machine-gun to fire - depending which you have. By holding down the fire button you can activate a lightning bolt; this can be swung 360 degrees around the player to slice 'n dice just about anything. Collecting icons can extend its length to cover the whole screen! Even more formidable are the energy lines; tapping the 'space bar' sends these out with smart-bomb effect. If you die, any power-ups you've collected are lost, but all the special devices - such as grenades, energy lines, etc - are reset to three of each. You can collect more though.

You also begin the game with three lives and three continue-plays - the latter can be increased by collecting 300 diamonds! And you certainly need them with 50 different aliens, 'tons' of bonus levels, and absolutely massive end-of-section monsters.


Absolutely brilliant! I thought I might have to wait a few years at least for something to beat Retrograde. I just can't get over how massive each stupendous level is. Not only is there great variety across the thirteen levels, but within each load there's an amazing amount of diversity which makes progress utterly compelling.

I can't get over just how massive this game is; each level is simply *huge* and I can't wait to see the inevitable maps for it (I may well have to dedicate a good few entire tips sections to this game). The amount of frustration when people sadly lacking our cheat version are unable to get onto another super-brilliant level will be incredible. You simply won't be able to put this game down.

Level 3-1, when you abruptly find the screen scrolling vertically for some shoot-'em-up action, is stunning. And the end-of-level baddies are gorgeous. The fish is massive and moves as smoothly as you'd expect of an Amiga - if it wasn't our own very own C64 I saw it on, I'd be convinced the host machine had a blitter in it!

Then there are the weapons; the power beam is not only pretty but an extremely useful weapon, although it can't cut through the scenery - so things are never too easy! The mines, grenades and gyroscope transformation are great too, leaving you plenty of room to develop your own tactics. To sum up, Turrican is the sort of game you expect to find in the arcades. A worthy successor to the Nemesis series in fact, and you can't get a bigger compliment than that from me!


Rainbow Arts' Niki Hemming earthling promised this was one of the best C64 games ever, a claim which almost had me laughing when it was first started. A nicely animated Turrican hopping up a few hills against a bland background seemed rather dull. But then Nikki showed us the waterfalls, the beautifully swirling water pools, the fearsome lightning weapon, shimmering diamonds, and ever more impressive backgrounds.

The variety on just the first section was amazing, but then we saw the clenched fist end-of-section monster - huge and moving really fast. Mediocre really, when compared to the dazzling fish monster, fantastically well-detailed and just as fast moving. Then there's the brilliant Giger-style world, with astonishingly good background graphics and Alien face-huggers crawling about - just like home really. Turrican is quite clearly a masterpiece of graphic genius, but what about gameplay?

1,300 screens make for one massive, maze-like challenge combined with an awesome shoot-'em-up. A good memory for a rotue will be useless, however, unless you have the brain to use the lightning to uncover concealed exits and the skill to take on a horrendous array of baddies. Once again all the whinging about the C64's demise is shown up as pathetic drivel.

Turrican is an absolutely awesome experience, developed specifically for the C64 and although there will be conversions I doubt if any will match the original's sheer artistry. Forget Morgul, Turrican is the legend which is going to haunt your fevered nightmares for months to come.

Absolutely irresistible!


I'm speechless... Erm, yes well I suppose I'd better say something! But what can I say that the others haven't said already? Turrican is simply stunning, with some of the most gorgeous graphics ever to grace the C64. The levels have great atmosphere with superbly detailed backgrounds and varied enemies lurking round every corner.

And, as for the end-of-level monsters, they're huge imaginatively dessigned, and incredibly fast-moving - you've got to see 'em to believe 'em!

Of course, graphics alone don't make a game, but Turrican certainly isn't deficient in the gameplay department either. The various weapons add an extra twist to the excellent arcade action: learning out how to use them best is a fascinating process. The gyroscope is particularly innovative (and useful), realistically rolling around the play area and bouncing off walls. And the grenades are a great idea as you have to throw them at something solid for them to explode.

Overall, Turrican is good enough to eat, but I scoffed the disk I wouldn't be able to play it - looks like I'll be going hungry for a while!


Presentation 90%
Great packaging, three continue plays which can be increased, and good end-screen.

Graphics 97%
Thirteen levels packed with variety, detail, imagination and some unbelievable end-of-level baddies - who's given the C64 a blitter?

Sound 90%
Two rousing tunes within the game, with some levels restricted to spot FX.

Hookability 94%
Very easy to get into, with a very nicely worked out control system.

Lastability 98%
Thirteen levels made up of a mere 1,300 screens (!) with great graphical variety and superb baddies.

Overall 97%
An utterly awesome shoot-'em-up with great variety in gameplay as well as the superlative graphics.