Friday The 13th (Domark) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

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Friday The 13th
By Domark
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #28

Friday The 13th

I don't know what it is about games based on horror films but I haven't seen a really good one yet. Maybe there is a curse on all programmers who attempt to turn the bread and butter of the film makers into lucrative games software. Whatever it is, this latest attempt to break the curse from Domark doesn't make it.

Friday The 13th tries to stick as closely as possible to the plot of the film. For those of you who haven't seen it, it goes like this. The ghost of Jason, a teenage camper who was left to drown by his 'friends', rises from the dead to reap a grizzly revenge on the holiday makers of Crystal Lake.

The aim of the game is to rescue as many of these hapless campers as possible and kill Jason, before he kills you.

To do this, you have to find the Sanctuary Cross and take it to one of the buildings (there is a barn, a church and a house) then find the nine campers and tell them to go back to that building.

Once you have rescued the campers, you set out to find and kill Jason himself. And in true horror film fashion, Jason has conveniently left several knives, axes and chain-saws lying around the place for the purpose. The best weapons are the ones that can be thrown; knives and axes. You don't have to get too close to him with these weapons and can score enough direct hits to kill him.

If you do get into a tangle with him, it is almost impossible to get away and you have to witness the highly unsavoury sight of Jason wielding his axe until the C64 emits blood-curdling scream, you fall dead, and this message comes up on screen: "Oh dear. You seem to have had your head cleaved. What a shame. Ha ha ha!"

Talking of that scream, it really is spine-chilling, the best part of the game. The first time I heard it was in the office after everyone had gone home. I nearly fell off my seat. I had to reach for the volume control. It does get a bit annoying after a while though - but boy, is it effective!

It is a pity that the other sound effects weren't as good. the footsteps as the characters move sound like a clock tick-tocking too quickly and too loudly!

The animation is also pretty average, as are the graphics. There is a good tractor in one of the screens but even this is let down by the fact that it doesn't move.

Already the newspapers have sniffed a controversial story in Friday The 13th with The Times reporting that John Menzies stores had asked Domark to provide less horrific packaging for the game, and that the film was an X-rated movie for over 18's only. Apart from the fact that a large number of under 18s will have seen the film at the cinema or on video anyway, all this talk misses the most important point about the game - that it's Not Very Good.

No more than an average to poor arcade adventure. Were it not called Friday The 13th, and were it published by Mastertronic instead of Domark, then I would probably grudgingly admit that it was just about worth two quid. But at a tenner, forget it.

Eugene Lacey

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