Commodore User


Author: Ferdy Hamilton
Publisher: A 'n F
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #35


Poor old A 'n F, after over two years they are still plugging their "successful" Chuckie Egg programs. Why? Simply because they haven't produced anything worth advertising since! Core, though, seems at first glance to look like just another Nodes Of Yesod clone - but don't be fooled.

The plot is the usual "save the human race" type, but A 'n F have given me an unwanted headache by putting the instructions in the form of lots of little memos from H.Q. Despite this I managed to get this out of them.

Deep, deep in the midst of space there is an asteroid. A few months ago scientists who were sent to explore that asteroid died. Your job as Asteroid Andy is to go up there and find out just what happened. This is done by finding the nine pieces of a biological memory bank.


The game is partly icon-driven. As well as having the usual pick up/drop icons, there is also a save position facility which comes in very handy indeed if you want to have any chance of getting through the one thousand plus locations on the asteroid.

The asteroid has four levels, each filled with plenty of hazards, from deadly plants to flying creatures. Every time you touch one of these you're given a message of warning. If you are touched too many times you're a gonner, that is unless you can find and install one of the new batteries which are scattered around the asteroid. Finding the battery is easy but installing is not - how you do it quite beyond me. But so you know when this needs installing the programmers have kindly put in a colour change to give you advance warning. For unexperienced players (not me!) there is a help icon which will, when activated, give you a helpful message.

To help you with your task, useful objects are to be found such as a gun which will clast everything in sight. Also for all you budding graffiti artists a sprawy can to map out the maze is to be found.


To find the objects on the first level you will need the metal detector. But how and where you find that is a close kept secret.

You must be choosy though as to what items you will and won't need as only four can be carried at one time. The asteroids are set out in a series of caverns with various teleports and anti-grav lifts scattered around the place.

This adds to the trickiness of the whole thing as many a time I have found myself wandering about in meaningless circles. The game on the whole is extremely tough. I think perhaps three lives instead of one would have been more suitable. But apart from that and the annoying instructions, Core is very good.

The sound is only just above average but that can be excused as it was converted from the Sinclair (or was it Amstrad?). The graphics are good but a little colourless. The sprites are large and well drawn with some nice little touches included in the backdrops used to good effect.

Core actually managed to drag me away from my C64 for the World Cup - and that's saying something. The standard of arcade-adventures seems to be improving no end, this particular one should keep A 'n F shouting proud for the next two years.

Ferdy Hamilton

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