Bravestarr (Go!) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Go!
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #54


This Wild West future shoot-'em-up was designed and programmed by Probe - the people who brought you Out Run and Trantor. It comes with a scene-setting story on the inlay that, for want of a couple of extra chapters and a beautiful heroine, could have made a Mills & Boon novel.

The scene is New Texas, where the mines are full of Kerium, the modern equivalent Esso four star. The villain of the piece - Tex Hex and his hordes of evil friends. Wait a minute, shouldn't that be fiends? Well, anyway, it's not Tex's fault you see, he is in the grip of the unutterably evil spirit Stampede, who wants to resurrect some dinosaurs and be their kind - I know that sounds like a complete load of dino dreck that I'm making up as I go along but it's true, honest.

To be the king of the dinos, Stampede, with the help of Tex Hex, must extract the magic sequence from the ancient Indian, Shamen. "As the courageous Marshal Bravestarr, patrolling the wastes of New Texas, your task is simple."

In other words, save the Indian. Not so simple as it turns out. To begin with, New Texas is a one street town. You're standing in the middle of it and there's bad guys comin' at you from both ends. Using your laser blaster, you can deal with most of them. The gods are a bit of a problem; you'll have to get on your knees, or keep well out of the way by jumping on the roofs of the buildings. But that won't help you avoid the seagulls, black clouds, weightless spacemen and other nasties that operate above ground level.

The first thing to do, not including blasting everything in sight, is enter some of the buildings - the bar, jail and exchange for instance. This gets you away from the action and gives you a chance for a breather. Once inside, you have three options: talk, examine or leave. These will get you nowhere at first. There's nothing to see, and no-one to talk to.

So there's only one thing for it - hop on the saddle rocket. Apart from being pretty good fun, it's the only way to get to the other locations in the game. The bad stuff follows you, but on the saddle rocket it's easier to manoeuvre out of the way. When you get to your destination, selected with a pointer on an amp, there's a task to accomplish, which might be as simple as picking up a piece of Kerium or freeing some people entrapped by Tex Hex. This is done in the same examine/talk/leave mini-adventure mode as in the town buildings.

As you accomplish various tasks, new locations will appear on the map for you to investigate. It's worthwhile heading back to the town every now and then. Things can be exchanged for money in the Exchange and the money can be used to buy information in the bar. You have to complete your task and rescue Shamen before time's up or you get shot once too often.

Bravestarr is all the more enjoyable because, despite the fact that it is full of all the old cliches, the Wild West idea freshens it up considerably. The graphics are good too - a welcome change from the Uridium-style metallic metropolis that seemingly features in virtually everything these days and at ten bucks, you won't have to sell your horse to buy a copy.

Ken McMahon

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