Atari User

House Of Usher

Author: Bob Chappell
Publisher: Midas Marketing
Machine: Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/130XE

Published in Atari User #26

House Of Usher

Another platform game, I'm afraid, and not a terribly good one at that, even taking into account its cheapness.

The main screen of House Of Usher is supposed to represent the reception hall of this ill-famed house.

To enter a room, you simply position your small, rather nondescript, character in front of a door. By pushing forward on the joystick and pressing the fire button, the screen will change to show the appropriate room.

House of Usher

Every room offers a series of platform puzzles. Most involve dodging mobile objects such as monsters, cannonballs, boulders and so on.

You have three lives and touching any object will cost you one, as will mis-timing a jump over a gap between platforms, or falling off a ladder.

In some screens, you must collect items; in other, you simply need to reach the exit. One screen has you jumping hidden gaps, the position of which are shown only by a tiny inset map.

House of Usher

When you have successfully negotiated all the rooms, you will be allowed to enter a mystery room (the Treasure Chamber). From here you can catapult yourself into the Final Room via a spring.

Every time you enter this last room you will be given the chance to pick a letter of the alphabet to discover whether it forms part of a secret codeword.

What happens in these last two rooms and what results when you discover the code word can only be guessed at, since I have not so far reached them - due in equal parts to my lack of skill and the absence of interest or excitement generated by the game.

The price is low, but there's no doubt you could find better value in many other budget releases.

Even better, why not save a few pence more and buy Edgar Allan Poe's The House Of Usher in paperback form - far more exciting than this game.

Bob Chappell

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