Just in case you've been in a coma for the past year, or on holiday in Outer Mongolia, or you picked up this magazine thinking it was Woman's Own, a few words about martial arts computer games.
Every so often, the software industry hits on a theme which captures the imagination - and the cash - of the games buying public. Last year it was sport, and we had Summer Games I and II, Winter Games, Winter Events, Winter Olympics, Daley Thompson's T-Shirt and a couple of million others.
This year it's pyjama parties, and Yie-Ar Kung Fu, originally released on the C64, is the latest in a long line of such games. If the tone of all this sounds mildly disapproving that's because, oddly enough, the first releases are usually the best and the mountain of clones that follow are just turgid reworked rubbish.
What is all this leading to? Well, what I'm trying to say is that there's nothing incredibly new or original or brilliant about C16 Yie-Ar Kung Fu. It's a very basic, bog standard game with no frills attached. There is one overriding reason why that will probably not diminish its success and that is because there's only one similar game for the C16 (unless you count Frank Bruno's Boxing), and this is better.
You control Oolong, initially a bit of a novice in the art of killing people with his bare hands. Assorted loonies try to kill you with clubs, chains, poles, swords and shurikens - those little stars you can make from milk bottle tops. You can fight back in a variety of ways depending on which way you move the joystick.
If you were a true master I guess you would put together clever combinations of kicks and punches to defeat your opponent, but I found the best method was to go absolutely crazy with the joystick. It doesn't look pretty, but it's effective. Eventually, if you're lucky, you will defeat your bemused adversary and the next one will be dragged on.
One thing I didn't like about the graphics was that sometimes you managed to kill an opponent without actually making contact. I guess it's something to do with the block of graphics that contains the nasty - either way it seemed strange - though fun -decking these guys by just swinging a punch in their general direction.
Altogether there are eight combatants, not including yourself. The first four bouts are contested against an uninspiring mountain scenery backdrop, then the second four are loaded with accompanying pagoda background - a slight improvement. There was a particularly annoying bug in my version. Despite finishing the first section with all five lives intact, when the second half loaded I only had one life remaining. This I promptly lost, necessitating a complete reload from the very beginning of the tape!
The best desription that can be applied to Yie-Ar Kung Fu is that it is adequate. There's nothing particularly inspiring about it. The important fact for unrelenting Martial artists is that it's better than Ninja Master by miles. So, to all those of you who ignored my massive slagging and pushed it to number five in the charts, ya book and sucks.