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%% PD/ShaReviews: GAMES!                           By: Robert Van Buren %%
%% Quite a lot.                             Robert_Van_Buren@sacbbx.com %%
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[Robert has quite a few of these...this is just a small sample, believe it
or not. -Ed]

Title: ALIEN BLAST
Author: Wayne Morledge
Genre: Arcade
Language: AMOS
Rating: *

In the scroller, the author notes that he'll not apologize for the
simplicity of the game/graphics (one or both...I forgot), that the game is
a first attempt and just an excuse to kick some alien butt.  Well, I can't
fault him there...good call.  But I hope he won't fault me for calling 'em
as I see 'em.  Poor title page, jerky scroller, garish backgrounds and
mediocre gameplay.  It's really not so awful that it is unplayable, it's
just not worth one's time with so much really BITCHIN' stuff out there!
In the game's defense, it IS uncompiled (hence the jerkiness?) and it is
still better than most of what you'll find in the PD scene on other
computers (or equivalent to...)

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: ALL ROUNDER - A CRICKET SIMULATION
Author: Gary L. Brown
date: 1992
Genre: Sports
Version: 1.03
Language: AMOS
Origin: UK
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 2225
Rating: ***

Author Brown has ported his own Cricket game from its original versions on
the VIC-20 and BBC computers, this time out offering a more realistic
simulation of the game (in other words, the computer team is not perfect).
This version saves averages, scores and league data.  Upon loading the
game, you'll note the slick title page and info screen...nice touch.
Shame that after that, the text overwrites the graphic screen boxes (an
AMOS bug, I believe).  This mess is seen on the Main Menu and subsequent
screens.  From that menu, you may choose to view or reset the leagues and
averages, or you can play a single match or continue league.  After moving
into the game choice, you'll need to select the competing teams, match
length, and control (human, CPU, summary).  A coin flip determines who has
the option choice over batting or fielding.  From this point on, it is the
simulation itself, which features reasonable graphics, but just barely
tolerable sound.  Many of the menu boxes are designed in such a way that
they look like a PC program, so that's not good.  Otherwise, this is
probably the best PD/shareware cricket sim you'll find.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: AUTOMOBILES
Author: Tero Heikkinen/Overflow Productions
Date: 1994
Genre: Racing
Language: AMOS
Rating: **

Apparently inspired by the PC game SLICKS & SLIDE, this is an overhead
racing game for 1-3 players (3-player mode only available for 14Mhz+
systems).  Blitz Basic has its commercial baby SKIDMARKS and now AMOS has
this, although this is not necessarily a good promo for AMOS.  The title
page looks nice enough, but wait states on the Options screens are too
sensitive on accelerated systems.  The game comes with 9 tracks and
promises more to follow...quite personally I'd rather see better control
of the cars, as they handle much the same as all other overhead racing
games (except SKIDMARKS).  The potential seems to be here for a good game,
but it needs a bit more polishing off first.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: BIONIX II - THE CHALLENGE
Author: Mirage
Genre: Shoot-em-up
Origin: Holland
Rating: ****

For PD, this is pretty spiffy.  The intro delivers some nicely digitized
speech before loading the vertically scrolling space shooting action,
which is somewhat on the average side.  There are 55 enemies to shoot at
and 14 different enemy types.  They come charging at you, and you simply
blast them to smithereens.  According to the programmer, he uses
Quatro-Buffering (4 buffers) to move the enemies in 32-color real-time.  A
decent diversion.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: BLEED - A JOURNEY THROUGH VIOLENCE
Author: Zaz/Dual Crew
Genre: Adventure
Origin: Sweden
Rating: ***

Apparently this is a port of a C-64 adventure game by THE GNN (?) and is
ported to the Amiga by Dual Crew, a team of graphics coders, trainer
makers and (I assume) crackers.  The text parser is loaded with
obscenities, as one would expect from this crowd.  Likewise, there are
many sick references and violence that could only appease young teenage
cyberpunks.  You play Brad Nixon, a 27 year old NYC traffic cop, circa
1985.  If you try to play a serious game, you'll find yourself
investigating a schoolhouse slaughter, but you'll not be playing a serious
game, so...  The interface is nice for a text adventure, but somewhere,
you should be informed that you have to use the spacebar to play.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: BLEED II
Author: Zaz/Dual Crew
Genre: Adventure
Origin: Sweden
Rating: ***

Well well well - back for more sickness, eh?  Damn kids!  Essentially,
more of the same.  A music soundtrack has been added, but a toggle would
have helped since you grow quite sick of the toon through your
exploration.  The text element continues with more nihilistic, racist,
homophobic humor (?) that also shows a total disregard for children, the
elderly and animals (I'll bet Liberals LOVE this game!).  Resetting is
tougher since the ninnies locked the keyboard from reboots (sigh).

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: BOUNCE 'N' BLAST (aka BOUNCE AND BLAST)
Author: Falcon/Digital Realms
Date: 1991
Genre: Platform
Origin: UK
Availability: Assassins Disk 30 / 17 Bit Disk 2171
Shareware: $10, $5
Rating: *****

Simply splendid piece of shareware.  This commercial quality platform
arcade game gets your attention from the start with their shareware plea
(a more reasonable deal you'll not find!) and offers not only the right to
play this game, but a poster for their upcoming release (THE COMPLETE
DUNGEONEER, a 3D RPG) and a discount on that game as well.  Those gifts
aside, this game is a great value on its own.  Like in most games of the
genre, you play a cute young boy who walks, hops and bounces across
colorful Nintendo-ish platforms and walls, killing bugs and other
psychotic enemies.  Power-ups will give you more powerful weapons.  Avoid
pits of lava (at least it LOOKS like lava to me) and getting hit too many
times by the baddies.  This game is a gas!

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Title: BRAZIL - THE QUEST FOR POWER
Author: Allen Wittenauer/Crispy Software
Date: 1994
Genre: Online
Version: 1.3
Origin: USA
Rating: ***

Yet another online game based on a slew of others.  It all started with
ARENA, which spawned its more popular clone FOOD FIGHT.  Loads of clones
of the latter appeared before BRAZIL, but the game sat in limbo in its
MS-DOS counterpart for one reason or another.  It has transmogrified from
its MS-DOS Pascal beginnings up to this Amiga SAS/C version for DLG
Professional BBS.  From that point, it's the basic fighting stuff that
you find in its predecessors (and clones).

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: DIRTY MOVES
Author: Questor
Date: 1990
Genre: Adult
Rating: **

A joystick waggler...one of those games where you have to waggle the
joystick back and forth as fast as you can.  An animation on screen has
you jacking on a...well, you get the idea.  (Yet Another Masturbation
Simulation?!?).  The original release of this game takes a crap on our
more modern systems, so the hackers of the Amiga community have graced us
(okay...) with a version fixed for OS2.x+ and 680x0 machines.  Now you can
waste your time with this garbage on your A4000!  Joy.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: DRIP
Author: Art Skiles
Date: 1989
Genre: Arcade
Origin: USA
Rating: *****

Wow!  I still remember my disbelief when this first came out...never
before had I seen such a polished public domain offering.  In reality,
this could have easily been a big performing commercial effort, since it
eclipsed so much banal product out at the time (actually, a lot of what
is still being released!).  Drip is the main chracter, a drip of water who
has the task of getting to the 16th floor (15 levels) by moving across the
pipes, rusting them all, which allows you to advance to the next floor.
No mean feat, since you have enemy forces to avoid, like acid, plasma,
ice cubes which shoot from the pipes, clouds which clean the pipes,
lasers, electric bubbles and coils, and crystal balls - all with their own
particular characteristics.  It's offset by two help thingies:  bubbles,
which will allow you to ride in them, making your job more swift, and
balloons which will carry you across pipes that you normally must follow
on track.  The sound and graphics are near perfect, with cuteness
plastered all over them.  But don't be fooled - the strategy element is
fierce, so don't expect to make it to floor 16 any time soon!  Get this
game!

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: E-TYPE II
Author: Matt Hall
Date: 1992
Genre: Shoot-em-up
Language: AMOS
Origin: UK
Shareware: £5
Rating: ****

This sequel is chock full of beautiful graphics, you can't take that away
from it.  And the programming is also quite sharp, so if you like the
game, send Matt the requested fiver, okay?  E-TYPE II is, like it's
parent, an update on the ASTEROIDS theme, only with spiffy visuals.  There
are some problems, though.  As you shoot at the rocks repeatedly, they
just take the shots in a static way until they've been blasted enough and
then they finally explode...hard to swallow that concept.  And it's still
just ASTEROIDS with fancy duds on, but that's not a completely bad thing
to be.  If classic arcade shooters appeal to ya, you can't go much wrong
here.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: FANTASY
Author: Michele Berionne
Date: 1994
Genre: Shoot-em-up
Language: AMOS
Origin: Italy
Availability: AMOS PD Disk 619
Shareware: 10 lira
Rating: ***

Maybe *** is a bit hopeful, but it's a simple enough waste of time.  If
you have seen the Blitz game ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, then you know the idea (if
not, how about OPERATION WOLF?).  This was whipped up in 9 hours and is
fairly generic, with minimal graphics...not the real problem.  The sound
is unusually chiding, sort of like Atari VCS sound on steroids.  4 levels
of mayhem that doesn't quite equal ZOMBIES.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: FORMULA ONE CHALLENGE
Author: Steven Rennocks/AmiVision
Date: 1992
Genre: Racing
Version: 4.1
Language: AMOS
Origin: UK
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 2025 (v3.0)
NOTE: Full version from Deja Vu Licenseware
Rating: ****

Let me begin by noting that this game (v3.0) is neither PD nor shareware,
although you CAN try this version out in a non-saving demo.  Author
Rennocks has apparently spent a great deal of time and put a lot of work
into this product, which features music (two toons) & sfx, as well as
graphics.  It is more of a management simulation than an arcade racer,
which is why you'll want to register the game for saving your season(s).
The included season is 1992, which autoloads.  As the game loads, you
choose how many players (1-4), skill level (easy, average, tricky, or
impossible?), and choose a team (from 15 cars).  After that, it's time to
spend your money (£1,000,000) on your engine (14 choices), tires (or
tyres, as the Brits call it), and driver (50 choices).  With all of that
out of the way, the Main Menu lets you choose info on Championship,
drivers (including tables for career points, wins, pole positions, and
pitstop times), records if any, weather conditions & forecast, cars &
drivers of players, race details (with track details, season, country,
circuit & lap info), load/save, credit screen, and finally, The Race,
which displays the racers and weather before loading the game screen.  The
race is 72 laps and is played on a split screen; the bottom half is the
track with its cars flashing by, while the top half displays racing
statistics as they happen.  The positions are listed and updated each lap
with incidentals posted as they occur (car failures, wrecks, pitstop
times, fastest laps, spins, rejoins).  The sound of cars racing past is
aggravating with its sloppy thump at the start of the sample.  At the end
of the race, several conclusion screens display winners and placers,
however quite often the text is too large for the screen which simply runs
off the screen - this seems to be fixed in the 4.x version(s).  Apart from
these minor shortcomings, the game is thorough and loaded with managerial
fun.

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Title: GOLF RECORDER
Author: Peter Wilson
date: 1991
Genre: Sports
Version: 1.6
Origin: Scotland
Rating: ****

One of those Euro-stats-sports type disks that they seem to enjoy making
so much for every sport, but I must say that I was impressed with the
slick interface and smooth look and feel of it all.  It looks like it was
created with some sort of multimedia authoring system, but the Lattice C
code holds its own against the pack.  The program itself keeps accurate
records of your courses and your current handicap, while also offering
system info, author info and some cleanly digitized greyscale images as
well.  Recommended!

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: HIGHWAY PATROL
Author: Jeff Parker/A.G.M. (Amiga Graphix Maniax)
Date: 1990
Genre: Shoot-em-up
Language: SEUCK
Origin: USA
Rating: *

Even the stunning 10 lives given to you by this game cannot save its poor
gameplay and horrid graphics.  Apparently, you are a 'futuristic cop' on
the highway armed with 'atomic shotfire', ridding the roads of violent
criminals (so how do you explain the mysterious things on the sides of the
road that randomly fire in all directions?).  Awful vehicle, horrendous
use of maps/tiles (this is a tutorial in how NOT to use game maps!) and
average sound.  Couple this with the below par title page and you have a
useless waste of disk space.  The fact that it's the author's first
attempt doesn't excuse its worthlessness.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: INSECTOIDS 2
Author: Mark Sibly
Date: 1993
Genre: Arcade/shoot-em-up
Availability: Assassins Disk 114
Language: Blitz Basic 2
Rating: ****

Quite nicely done, nostalgic arcade shoot-em-up in the mold of GALAXIANS,
GALAGA, etc.  This PAL treat needs no instructions - just load it up and
start shooting.  Like its arcade ancestors, there are attack waves that
come every fourth attack wave.  When you shoot the passing-by overhead
saucer, it drops tokens which give such bonuses as faster movement, faster
shooting, extra shots, double firepower and extra lives.  Certainly worth
a look!

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: JELLY QUEST - JELLY QUEST PART II
Author: David McGuire
Date: 1993
Genre: Arcade
Langauge: AMOS
Origin: Ireland
Shareware: £3.50
Rating: **

The distributable version of this game is a bit stripped down, while the
registered version contains 40 new levels (rather than 9) and a whole
bunch of other k00l stuff spread out across two disks!  But the version I
looked at failed to make an impression on me.  The routines were slow and
annoying: the title screen gives you options to play game, enter password,
view high scores or get in-game help.  Upon choosing any of them gives you
a redundant animation that is slow and jerky.  Even loading the game
itself is slow and cumbersome (I loaded it from RAM!!! and even still had
to hear my hard drive grinding away...and the game was NOT packed!) - and
still the display was messy with text, even though the font assigns were
correct.  Game-wise, in a Q*BERT-style, your character (Jelly) hops across
various blocks, each with different values and actions.  His object is to
rescue the jelly beans that were kidnapped from General Jelly and taken to
Castle Jelly (are we back to the redundancy check again?).  There's more
to the story (MUCH more...), but space is at a premium and I really didn't
like the game due to lowsy control and ill thought-out bothers.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: KLAKTRIS
Author: Tony Hosier
Date: 1992
Genre: Arcade/puzzle
Origin: UK
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 2174
Rating: ****

The Tetris clone rears its ugly head again...well, not exactly.  To begin
with, this is not ugly - in fact, the graphics are quite pretty!  As you
may have gathered from the name of the game, it is a cross pollination of
two hit games, KLAX and TETRIS.  There are three levels of difficulty
(Easy, Medium, and Hard - duh!) and each feature their own unique
background and drop piece design.  Each high score table is separately
created for that level of gameplay.  As in its parent games, the 3
interlocked blocks drop to the bottom of the well and you can shift the
color in a loop.  The idea is to create matches of three colors or more in
order to wipe out that pattern.  The assembly language coding makes for
smooth play, if a tad sensitive.  Command line alterations will let you
use your own choice of music for the game (NoiseTracker mods).  I only had
one problem with the game and that is the poorly written documentation
(being the English purist that I am) - somebody should tell this guy to
put spaces after commas and periods, among other awful grammatical errors.
I know this is nit-picking, but I didn't bother reading it due to this
annoying writing style.  The game, however, is quite enjoyable and very
durable.

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Title: LAME ST-PORTS (aka ST BASH)
Author: J. Kertel/Cheeseware
Date: 1990
Genre: Shoot-em-up
Version: 3.0
Origin: Germany
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 607
Rating: ****

"...blast as many ST's and aliens as possible...blast your way from the
520 level up to the Mega level and beyond...", so claims the title page to
this anti-Atari arcade excursion.  And quite a good shooting frenzy it is!
As the game loads its nice little pics and anims, we here the strains of
Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" before the robot from Lost in Space
blasts the Atari logo <grin>, then a selection screen gives us a host of
choices, such as 1-2 player game (always a plus) and level of difficulty
(normal, easy, medium, missile, block, fire).  The action is as fast and
furious and challeneging as any SPACE INVADERS clone I have played (and
yes, it IS a SPACE INVADERS clone) and is a competent shooter even without
the esoteric undertones.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: MAD RACE
Author: Tobias Richter/AgaTron
Date: 1988
Genre: Racing
Origin: Germany
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 307
Rating: *

Horrible racing game from 3D freak Richter.  This does more than show its
age, it shows how really bad a racing game can be - something by which any
contenders for the turkey award should be judged.  Anyone with a
reputation like Richter should never have unleashed such an unplayable
hunk of dreck on the general public, since it is now here to haunt him
forever.  But you can only discover this level of poorness after degrading
the system to 512k, lest ye be prepared to crash.  Just don't bother,
unless you are a glutton for abuse.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: MANGLED FENDERS (DEMO)
Author: Pete W. Storonskij/Incinerplex Games
date: 1994
Genre: Racing
Origin: USA
Language: Blitz2
Shareware: $10, £10, FIM 50, DM 15
Rating: ****

Hey, I can't really find too much problem with this nifty little
Demolition Derby arcade game.  The car/vehicle sprites may take a couple
of seconds to figure out which end is which, but once you get going, it's
a real blast!  You are given $50,000 (or £50,000 - depending on whether
you are in NTSC or PAL...a nice touch!) which you may spend on various
doo-dads for your vehicle.  Without going into too much detail, here's a
wrap-up of the features: NTSC/PAL support, Quitting (ESC or tilde), cheat
mode, 6 vehicles (which can be played simultaneously) to pick from, 6
backgrounds (which I assume could be replaced with your own designs?!?), 7
power-ups, 6 damage upgrades, and many other nice features that you should
discover yourself.  The author insists on the demo being called a demo
(between that and his shareware plea, the brevity of his doc is pushed to
the max).  Hell, register this game...it is better than many commercial
outings.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: A NIGHT AT THE TOP
Author: Trygue Jensen
Date: 1992
Genre: Text adventure
Origin: Norway
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 1810
Rating: **

Yes, another text adventure.  Take the disk, CD to the ANATT directory (or
open the drawer icon) and read the extremely long-winded text file
ANATT.hlptext for a lot of mumbo jumbo about the state of gaming, text
adventures, global politics, programming, etc.  I don't know why, but it's
there.  Anyhow, onto the game...despite the long talk, the parser is still
somewhat limited, the use of English is stunningly abysmal (run-on
sentences, misspellings, grammatical errors, and general
incomprehensibility) and a general lack of interest all combine to make an
unsatisfying adventure experience.  I also found it far too easy to lose
the game in under a minute, which certainly disdained my interest.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: NIGHTWORKS
Author: Ber And Yep
Date: 1988
Genre: Gambling
Origin: UK
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 1407
Rating: **

Yet another arcade fruit machine.  The graphics are flashy, the sound is
The Bangles' "Walk Like An Egyptian" in a loop, and the gameplay - well,
it's a fruit machine, yes?  And there is an in-game help screen.  How many
ways can you describe it?  If you likes them, then plays this.  If not,
then avoid.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: OLEMPIAD '92
Author: Richard Evans
Date: 1992
Genre: Sports
Origin: UK
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 2209
Number of Disks: 2
Rating: **

A possible good idea that is flawed due to flaky graphics and piss-poor
gameplay.  The game is a cross between LEMMINGS (only by association) and
TRACK & FIELD.  Let me start you off with the terrible excuse for a
storyline: in the future (I assume), the population of Lemmings is slapped
in the face with a recession (silly, innit?), so to prevent the spread of
crime and poorness the government decides awarding cash prizes in a
Lemmings Olympics will solve the problems (Clintonomics?).  All that
nonsense for a simple waggling TRACK & FIELD game?  It's worse - the
graphics are so simple that they are revolting, it's a waggler but you
waggle with the mouse (joystick waggling was bad enough, but this?), and
lastmost, you haven't a clue how well you are doing until after the event!
You compete in the 200 Metre Race, Horse and Cart Race, Javelin Throw,
Long Jump, Rowing Race, Skateboarding, and Swimming competitions, but no
amount of choices can make the gameplay work.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: PETER'S QUEST: FOR THE LOVE OF DAPHNE
Author: David W. Meny
Date: 1989-91
Genre: Platform
Version: 1.2
Origin: USA
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 1409 (v1.0)
Rating: **

Coded by a 17-year old junior, this game borrows a lot of inspiration from
SUPER MARIO BROTHERS (plotwise only, since none of the NES banner game's
playability made it to the translation).  The story: the evil Brutus has
taken away Peter's girlfriend Daphne, so in order to rescue her, Peter
must follow the trail of (and collect up) hearts which are littered along
various platforms.  The 20 levels of the game are obliterated by deadly
porcupines and other such menaces, while a dosage of bonus may also be
obtained (coins, mushrooms, etc.) to help you in your quest.  Each level
must be completed within a time limit.  Sounds okay?  Now the bad news:
this is yet another attempt by an American programmer to create an arcade
environment in the C language.  Created on a 512k A1000, the game suffers
from graphic glitches (probably only goes away when using the exact
system the game was written on!) and slow, aggrivated sprite movement.
The sound samples of Daphne are so irksome that it may induce madness
before you even complete one level.  Even updated versions from 1991
contain the same wretched weaknesses.  I wouldn't bother if I were you.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: PLANET FALL
Author: George Lancaster/Black Sun Games
Date: 1994
Genre: Arcade
Language: AMOS
Origin: USA
Shareware: $10.
Rating: ***

Perhaps not the best of the genre, but nonetheless playable.  A couple of
the old 8-bit classics will pop to mind, namely THRUST.  You are assigned
various missions in which you man your spaceship and maneuvre it to
docking stations using directional and thrusting skills.  Along the way,
the missions become more strategic with foreign enemies awaiting you with
firepower, so docking becomes the least of your worries!  It's all a bit
slow moving and some of the between level routines become annoying but
it's not a total loss.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: PUSSY QUEST 1 - A QUIET WEEKEND IN THE BUSH
Author: The Heavyweight/Sick Minds Software
Date: 1992
Genre: Adventure/adult
Language: AMOS
Origin: Australia
Rating: **

An adult adventure game coded in 1½ days for a demo party.  Load, save or
delete characters (your girl) with characteristics.  A prompt will ask you
questions such as your name, girl's name, and slang words for certain body
parts and sex acts, among others.  The spelling and prose is rather crude,
and the expected horny boy storyline is rather predictable (in an
adolescent sort of way) with the expected boolean choices and results.  A
juvenile fantasy that may appeal to young boys (or those with similar
mentality), but the rest of us will want to pass, as it is neither erotic
nor humorous.  Allegedly the first in a series - it is easy to see why no
others followed.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: ROLL OR DIE
Author: Animators
Date: 1992
Genre: Arcade/sports
Number of Disks: 2
Grade: ***

Hmmm...dunno quite where to begin on this one, as there really is no equal
that I have ever seen.  And I thought the BLEED games were crude!  What is
it I am babbling on about, you ask?  A very sick idea that is executed in
a very slick way (sorta).  Animators is a Euro Demo coder group who
created this here game that pokes fun at those who are bound in
wheelchairs.  Although they do apologize and stress that they have nothing
against the handicapped, they still put a lot of work into quite a sick
joke.  TRACK AND FIELD was never like THIS!  There are four events:  1)
MOUNTAIN ROLLING, one of those waggling games I hate so much, in which you
waggle the joystick left to right at your fastest speed (until your arm
collapses) in an attempt to build up enough speed to get your cripple up
the mountain to the finish line; 2) ROAD ROLLER is a fairly well done
racing game with our wheelchair bound victim replacing the vehicle and
dodging the many obstacles along the way; 3) LONG JUMP is sorta like the
javelin throwing events or a real long jump, only you waggle to a fast
enough speed to send your paraplegic through the air and onto his head;
and finally, 4) HOSPITAL RACE is a bit of a maze wherein you move your
character through the hospital maze without hitting dead ends or patients.
Most events are close to impossible to win...probably not the point
anyway.  At the end of the events, you are instructed to insert the second
disk or the on-screen victim will be killed.  Obscenities are dispersed
liberally throughout the game.  Sounds pretty worthless, yes?  Well, I
cannot deny that this crew really have some good programming skills, as
the game is better quality than many commercial games.  The sportscasters
resemble quite closely those found in the TV SPORTS series of games!  The
music soundtrack (by Jeff) is also quite nice, consisting of mostly BP
Soundmon and JamCracker toons.  The ending displays a high score table and
an option to save your scores, then proceeds with the usual demo greetz
and messages.  If the descriptions found in this review are offensive to
you, then by all means avoid.  But if you are more daring (or liberated?),
then you may want to indulge in the carnage and give it a go.

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Title: SCHOOLYARD SLAUGHTER (aka SLAUGHTER 2)
Author: Rupert
Genre: Shoot-em-up
Language: AMOS
Rating: ***

The classic (?!) Atari PD game really DOES exist on the Amiga!  Well, I'd
heard the rumors...  Tasteless game in which you have no other purpose
than to gun down helpless school children.  Only shots to the head count.
Charming...

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Title: THE SHEPHERD
Author: Obbe Vermeij/Materia Magica
Date: 1993
Genre: Strategy/sim
Version: 1.1
Origin: Holland
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 3111
Rating: *****

A 'temporary' version of the game which features 3 levels and 7 animals,
with the final version claiming to support 100 levels and 40 animals.
With that out of the way...  So how does this all figure in?  Well, it's
sort of a God sim.  Your objective is to buy animals which you place on a
map for breeding.  You are in a race against the computer god, with your
animals represented as red and the computer as blue.  Strategically, you
must take into account food supply, which can be countered by purchasing
trees for forest growth.  Then there's weather and other forces of nature
to contend with.  A lot of care and detail here, right down to the fully
custom icons on the disk.  But the real care is in the game itself.  The
interface should be familiar to fans of POPULOUS and its sequels and
lookalikes.  The graphics are very presentable, as is the sound.  Quite an
impressive affair, considering one man did it all here - certainly this
exceeds the traditional PD fluff of clones of SPACE INVADERS, MINES,
SOLITAIRE and TETRIS!  Highly recommended!

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Title: STAR FIGHTER
Author: Maciej Sawicki/Equinoxe
Date: 1993
Genre: Who knows...
Language: AMOS 3D
Origin: Australia
Number of Disks: 2
Shareware: $15 (US), $20 (Australia)
Rating: *

Playable demo version (with no save) that is distributed in floppy version
(single drive only - lame) or hard drive version.  Unfortunately, I
chanced upon the floppy version (lha'd no less!!!) that looked like the
hard drive version (with the Disk1 & Disk2 files in the root dirs - what
an annoying waste of time this caused).  That cost this game a point...
irritation is always a setback when I have to make disks myself (note to
author: DMS!!!), to say nothing of the sparse documentation.  After all of
the unsuccessful attempts at running the game from RAM: or hard drive, I
finally made the appropriate disks (yes, assigns failed too!).  And oh yes
- that second disk drive is far too advanced a concept for the game to
understand.  After getting past the decent looking, yet flickery menu page
and my mission was chosen, the game continued its annoying disk swap
nonsense before kicking me back to the system (which it takes over, by the
way).  What went wrong?  Is Kick/OS 2.x too advanced?  Is it incompatible
with my 68030?  Who the hell knows - after almost 45 minutes of hacking
with this nonsense, I'd rather spend my time on yet another Minefiled or
Tetris clone (at least they work!) - I never even determined what type of
game this is!!!
UPDATE: I went ahaed and gave it another try (it's my job!) and booted
from the disks and the game actually ran.  That out of the way, I flew my
ship (?) through some starfield-like space and did absolutely nothing.  No
encounters with other ships or aliens, although I was able to shoot.
Although a patient guy, I bailed after five minutes of this tripe.  Also
worth noting is the disk swapping is immediate when entering the game and
there is no sound to speak of.  My * grade stands.

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Title: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
Author: Bryan Turnock/BSY
Date: 1992
Genre: Arcade
Language: AMOS
Availability: Assassins Disk 121
Origin: UK
Shareware: £3.50 (free copy of COR! game from BSY)
Grade: ***

Not bad arcade game where you play Leatherface, hero (?) of the highly
success film series and true-life exploits with the title tool.  Travel
across the screen yard and home with your chainsaw, slashing up any victim
that comes your way!  Great fun!  You have a limited fuel supply which
must be monitored and tended to, so after every five murders, a new gas
can appears which you must pick up in order to continue the carnage - all
before the time counter reaches zero.  After picking up the gas, the
counter is reset and you can massacre more folks.  Not entirely unplayable
little game - a bit shallow, but certainly worth a look.  One quibble is
that is MUST be run from its floppy since the game looks for its graphic
screens on the disk you booted from (even "assign sys: DF0:" did no
good!).  That is a major flaw and really screws up American users who are
running OS/KS 2.04+.

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Title: THRUST DUEL
Author: Paul Hamilton/Spanner in the Works
Date: 1993
Genre: Arcade/shoot-em-up
Version: 1.2
Language: AMOS Professional
Origin: UK
Shareware: £1
Rating: **

A 2-player space dogfight game best sums up this one.  You'll recognize
references to THRUST and ASTEROIDS in the game.  Your object: score 25
points by shooting spaceships or waiting for the other player to die.
Fair enough.  If you know the game of THRUST, you'll be aware that you can
shoot, and you can land - just don't crash land.  Thrust carefully to drop
land safely.  Die by not crashing down, getting hit by spaceship or
getting hit by the other player.  Oh, and look for ricochet bullets.
Unfortunately, this is just another arcade game with no real
distinguishing marks whatsoever.  The music score is Ultra Vivid Scene's
"Mercy Seat".

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Title: UTG
Author: Chris Hurley
Date: 1993
Genre: Adventure
Version: 0.95
Origin: USA
Rating: ***

If I was into ULTIMA-style adventures, I'd probably have given this a
higher rating, hence the ***.  Otherwise, I played it longer than any game
in this genre yet.  The story takes place in the kingdom of Agima (!) and
you, a mere serf, are on a quest to find the missing king who vanished,
which started a string on unpleasant events in the community, such as wild
dogs, snakes and other nasties, attacking travellers.  Phew!  It was nice
to have Amiga 8-channel music for the soundtrack, rather than the usual
crap music accompanying this type of game.  The graphics, while not great,
are better than usual.  A few Liberal jokes are tossed in unneccesarily as
well.  The docs and such as all in AmigaGuide format, the program uses the
CBM Installer, and everything seems to have been fairly well thought out.
If you are into Ultima-style games, this is your best bet.

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Title: WELLTRIX
Author: Gary W. Milliorn/Valcan Inc.
Date: 1990
Genre: Puzzle
Origin: USA
Availability: 17 Bit Disk 781 / 17 Bit Disk 1710
Rating: ****

The PD version of Spectrum Holobyte's WELLTRIS is, in fact, far superior
to that questionable variation on the most addictive of all puzzle games.
This is superior to WELLTRIS in every way...more visually appealing,
better sound, more addictive (I never even cared for the commercial
version) and this version has some user programmable features (colors,
sounds, etc.).  And it's nice to not have to deal with manual-based
look-up protection in order to play!  For the uninitiated, this is TETRIS
played in a 3D well, where you combine multiple shapes in order to create
the filling shape.  There are three levels of difficulty to choose from,
and you can play in Normal or Clock mode.  Control is handled via the
keyboards, but read the docs, as the keys change depending upon the mode
you are playing.  And speaking of docs, they are quite well written and
couldn't be much improved upon, outside of being printed in manual form!
In-game help is available and the game even multitasks!  Grab this game up
soon!

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Title: WILLY WORM AND HIS BUNNY ASSAULT
Author: Animators
Date: 1993
Genre: Arcade
Rating: ***

An average game with a twisted storyline attached from Euro demo coder
group Animators.  It is nothing more than a 2-player snake game that plays
like Tron cycles.  But get a load of this pubescent storyline:  Willy, a
decidedly non-Hermaphrodite (?) worm, escapes from his laboratory home
with another worm, Masturbating Manny (!).  Both are vying for the
affections of the same bunny and must battle it out in the Worm Battle
Arena.  Some objects play into the picture that may be picked up for
various effects, including a syringe for worm-doping, ice block to freeze
enemies and test tube for invulnerability.  The worm with 7 bonus points
wins, achieved via the opponent worm crashing or by collecting hearts.
The joystick control is odd in how it changes direction randomly.  Aside
from the far-fetched plot, it's quite average.

   *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Title: ZALYCON
Author: Jag/Fanatix
Genre: Arcade
Language: AMOS
Number of Disks: 2
Rating: ****

A very good example of what can be done with AMOS.  An arcade fest with
loads of things going on, which I'll try to give you a taste of.  In the
year 2176, space travel becomes commonplace and the Moon colonizes.  20
years later, the Moon of Zalycon employs you as a Solar System Scout to
protect it from the alien invasion of Zalycon's moonbase.  This requires
several feats, the first of which is getting there by flying your
spaceship through an asteroid field.  This is similar to the bonus level
of PROJECT X, only with collision avoiding of those arcade rocks, rather
than the caves.  Next comes a moon buggy level where you must attempt the
impossible - getting to the end!  Too many jumps and too many obstacles
make for a difficult job that I wasn't able to pull off.  A wonderful
music score is ripped from the likes of The Silents, SAE and 4-Mat of
Anarchy, among others.  The Options screen allows you to toggle sound/
music/both (good call!), instructions on/off (quite useful, actually),
music test (test the toons first hand!), score save (see next option), and
easy/normal/hard.  The difficulty level has its price: on Easy, there is
no score save or end sequence, the Medium level offers only the score
save, and the Hard levels gives you everything (like you'll achieve it!).
As a whole, this is a beautifully done work, with an exception of the
annoying flashing text on the info screens (may not occur on systems that
have no accelerator).  One final quibble is the lock on quitting - why do
programmers do that?  The game even multitasks, but will not quit!  That
one cost you a point!  Long review, I know, but I'm gonna run and try to
get to the next level! <grin>