Shackled (U. S. Gold) Review | Amstrad Computer User - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Computer User

By U. S. Gold
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #47


Your friends have gone and got themselves locked up and it is up to you to free them. The usual technique of getting a good lawyer, raising bail and greasing palms wouldn't make a very good action game so off you go, armed to the molar with small brown projectiles which look for all the world like chocolate chip cookies.

The ordinary country jail is full of nasties outside the cells, all intent on doing you very little good. Your killer cookies make short work of them, but this in no way furthers your mission of mercy.

Dotted about the place are doors which can be shot - a variety of things lurk behind them. There could be an extra weapon token to give better attack, defence or speed (as in Gauntlet). It could be one of your pals, who tag along adding extra firepower and different weapons a la Salamander).

Or you could uncover a next of ninja, all of whom are determined to 'ninj' you to the best of their ability. At least when the ninja have been ninjed you get to keep the small change which falls from their pockets.

Once you have freed as many of your pals as you can be bothered to, you have to escape the level by finding the door cryptically marked EXIT. A harder level ensues, with more nasties, more friends and less door keys going spare.

The game is a multi-loader, but is handled quite well despite this. Levels are loaded eight at a time in about 20 seconds. If the first set has not been completed, it remains in memory. The graphics are adequate, if a little badly defined, and the sound is workmanlike.


I disliked the invisible monsters (bugs?) which didn't appear but harmed you all the same. The playing area is a bit wee, and unless you have the go-faster icon, gameplay is at Eeyore-on-morphine speed.

Not dire by any manner of means, but a definite try before you buy case.