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Colin Stewart
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Ross Holman
Chris Bourne

Despite the obvious enthusiasm for this game generated by the games players in the YS editorial office, Frank N Stein was the game I liked least of the three programs.

The object of the game is to guide your two-cursor figure along platforms collecting the constituent parts of a Frankenstein-type monster - making it a little more complicated is the fact that all the limbs, etc, have to be collected in the correct order; head first, then torso, then hips and so on. To collect all the parts of the body, you have to walk over the dissected parts, while avoiding the various sprites that go through set patterns of movement around the screen.

Again, you can move left or right, but vertical movement can only be achieved by standing over strategically placed springs and hitting the 'fire' button. Small jumps are possible, but these are sued mainly for letting one of the sprites pass underneath allowing your figure to safely carry on his macabre search. There are also an number of poles which can be used to descend from level to level.

The graphics characters are mostly two-cursors, very colourful and animated fairly well, adding some welcome relief from the overall red appearance of the game. The move pixel by pixel, but they're a might bit slow - which means there are times when you're hanging around waiting for the baddies to get out of the way. This aspect is no doubt intended - especially as the game is played against the clock - but I feel that overall it detracted from the game.

PSS claim Frank N Stein ha 50 screens, but don't let that mislead you as there are only 26 different screens. After each 'collecting' screen, there's one that repeats; this special screen is slightly different from the rest in that the object this time is to get to the top platform while avoiding random graphics characters and rolling barrels (shade of Kong here).

Planning out a route through each screen is reminiscent of Manic Miner, but it doesn't work out quite as well. If you miss the opportunity to jump for something, then very often you either die or have to hang around for the same pattern of events to repeat itself - there's not much room for you to experiment with new and original ways round each screen as more often than not, there's only one way round and that's your lot!


Screenshot Text

This is the home of Prof. FN Stein - a modest abode, tastefully decorated with a portrait, light bulb and bookcase. Seems like he might be a nice enough chap... he's just got an odd hobby!

Welcome to the game's hero the professor. Typically inept at putting together the limbs of the monster, here we see him slipping on the ice. Watch out for nasties when you're negotiating the ice, as once you're on it you can't stop.

As you walk along, the springs allow you to move up a level when you press the 'fire' key. You'll find that when you jump your head can impinge on the next level up - so make sure there's not an obstacle up there, or you'll have to start again.

The squares marked 'J' act like transporters which slow you down on this stage of the game. As well as the ice, there's also patches of slime to slow your movements down.

This screens shows the 'Krazy Kong' part of the game, which happens after each 'real' part of the adventure. All you have to do is to get to the top of the screen and push the plunger to move on.

The fireman's poles come in very useful when there's no other means of escaping the nasties in your path. Their use is similar to the springs, only you go down instead of up. As the game's all played against the clock, you'll have to use the poles so's as not to waste too much precious time.

This meter tells you how much time you've left to collect all the bits and pieces that go to make up the monster. If you don't manage to push the plunger by the monster-maker in time you have to start again, right from the beginning!

Stepping on the exclamation marks causes our hero to have a fit of what looks like delerium tremens. Again, it's just another method of slowing you down in your quest.

Here we see the professor just about to collect the monster's hip bones. However, as there's a nasty on his tail, he's going to have to get on the spring double-quick and get on to the next level; then he's free to snap up the monster's other hip bone.

This is where the monster's made. You have to collect the limbs of the monster in the correct order and once found, they appear in this chamber.

Once you've collected all the bones to make up the monster, you've got to rush up to the top level and push the plunger to send a couple of million volts through it.

The power must have done the monster some good - he looks very dapper kitted out in his Sixties outfit!