Snap Dragon (Bubble Bus) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

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Snap Dragon
By Bubble Bus
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #46

Snap Dragon

Right, let's not mess about. This is awful. Sorry Bubble Bus, but this is going straight down the toilet. How can I put this strongly enough? Let's just say that if you re-recorded over the tape with Madonna hits, you'd be putting it to better use.

Snap Dragon is supposedly "the most authentic simulation of karate, arm to arm and pole combat". At first sight it looks quite impressive. There are a total of sixteen moves, including those where you whack your opponent with a dirty big pole as opposed to using your bare hands and feet.

The blurb is mercifully brief; you have entered the Dragon's temple and an army of Dragon warriors is all that stands in the way of you becoming master of the Snap Dragon. There's a bit more about how wonderfully exciting it all is, the incredible suspense and thrill you will experience, that sort of thing.


There are no big surprises on the first screen. There are you, all dressed in white, standing in a temple which looks remarkably similar to a hundred and one other C64 karate game temples, only slightly more mundane.

The bottom half of the screen displays information about your general state of health. This is divided into four meters for your hands, arms, body and legs. Once any of these reaches critical level your overall energy drops rapidly and you are dead in no time at all. The same obviously goes for your opponent, whose overall energy level will depend on how far through the game you have managed to progress.

Which brings us to the big problem. All of the opponents are a walkover. There are nine grades from red belt up to black belt and 5th Dan. Your objective is to reach the top and the opponents are supposedly graded accordingly. Why then was it possible for me to kick them to death with my eyes shut? (I was asleep at the time!) Why was it that they didn't learn my favourite moves and dodge cunningly out of the way? Why did they stand there like morons (even the black belt 5 dan guys) while I mercilessly laid into them with a combination of low kicks and overhead punches? I didn't even need to use the pole.

Why, to cut a long story shot, was it possible for me to complete the game without even trying... at the first attempt? The answer is that it's a load of bollocks. You can't believe how boring it was. Nine levels of tedious mayhem before reaching black belt dan 5. I actually fell asleep at one point and *I'm not joking*, I really did.

The only reason I persevered with this perverse masochistic pastime was to discover what happens when you reach the end and become master of the Snap Dragon. And do you know what happens? Absolutely nothing. Bog all. Instead, you are confined to an eternity of walking round this repetitive, boring temple laying into pyjama-clad cretins who would have a hard time doing over your granny.

Ken McMahon

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