Pin Point (Anco) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Pin Point
By Anco
Commodore 16

Published in Commodore User #41

Pin Point

This is the best attempt yet to produce a Marble Madness-type game for the C16 and Plus/4. Judging from our letters, Anco have chosen just the right game to have a go at. We have received dozens of pleas for a Marble Madness clone. So how does it shape up?

Full marks for providing twenty levels of play. The only unfortunate thing about Pin Point is that you are going to have to be a near genius to get to the final screen. Anco's chief games tester has been playing it for weeks and has still only managed to reach the third level.

Each level has a white flag at the end of it. The simple aim of the game is to reach the flag. Simple it sounds but simple it ain't, believe me.

You control a spinning top with the joystick. Very precise control is needed to keep the top on the chequered play grid, to apply the brakes, turn and above all, stop it toppling over the edge. Sometimes you will come to gaps in the path which you'll need to leap over - a very tricky manoeuvre.

There are also steep slopes that cause your top to build up extra speed as it hurtles downwards. The only way to stop it before it slides over the top is to reverse the direction of the joystick.

Speed can be increased by holding the fire button down. This is necessary for making leaps and getting the top up steep inclines.

The graphics are very neat. They're of the simple two colour variety but very precisely drawn - giving Pin Point the look of Marble Madness, even if it does not match it for gameplay.

Talking of which, Anco have made a real blunder here - it's just too difficult to play. Even level one is nearly impossible. It would have been far more enjoyable had Anco let you into it gently, with a couple of easy screens right at the beginning.

Having said that, Pin Point is difficult to put down - even if you do keep failing at the same point time after time.

Sound effects are sparse and you'll almost certainly be reaching for the volumn knob to get rid of "tap, tap, tap" that happens each time you lose a life. After a while you feel as if someone is hammering a nail into your head!

This is a reasonably good attempt and Marble Madness fans will no doubt lap it up. But I couldn't help thinking that, with a little more care, Anco could have had another Screen Star on their hands.

Eugene Lacey

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