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Ocean Software Ltd
1988
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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13
Paul Sumner, Nick Roberts, Kati Hamza
Chris Bourne

You've been swallowed up by a ten million ton space being with an equally large appetite. This mega-monstrosity also has its greedy eye on Earth, so you have no choice but to try and escape by shutting down the body's major organs - otherwise your home planet is about to end life as an undignified midday snack.

The treacherous quest takes place over four levels, inside a vast four-way scrolling complex of interconnecting tubes. Each of the four major organs (kidneys, lungs, heart and brain) must be destroyed in turn. As they are each encased in a tough membrane, an appropriately powerful weapon needs to be assembled first, and its three parts are found around different sectors of each level.

Antibodies attack from all sides shooting pellets. Contact depletes energy, and once it reaches zero one of four lives is lost. A variety of weapons are collected by moving over weapon holds hidden in the tissue walls.

Other bonus icons include spare helmets, for extra protection and increased fire-power. Keys enable you to open the Super Weapon door hidden inside each of the major organ rooms.

A map of the current quadrant can be called up via the keyboard. A status display indicates score, gives a large-scale grid map of the playfield, show energy and lives remaining.

CRITICISM

'Gutz is all very well if you're one of those rambler types that enjoys walking thousands of miles through picturesque terrain, but when it comes to an addictive and compelling computer game, Special FX's latest sadly misses the mark. There's no addictive goal to aim for and no tough characters to overcome - just constant trogging around getting very, very bored. Hardly the frantic on of Firefly, more like a walk in the country.' PAUL … 60%

'What a name! What a game! Gutz spoils Special FX's reputation in my mind at least. The graphics are all simply drawn and with monochromatic colour over the top of that, it's just a recipe for disaster. There are some options to make the game a bit more bearable like the option to select either sound effects or a great rapping tune, but other than that Gutz is a very basic game. There is no real objective behind it, just shoot all the little spiders, drainpipes and pot plants that flicker and jump around the screen. I wouldn't bother with Gutz if I was you, just because it has Special FX on the cover, it doesn't mean at it's a special game!' NICK ... 57%

'Hurtling around arterial passages of an intergalactic mega-being sounds pretty disgusting. However, if blood and gore is what you're after, Gutz is unlikely to match up to your wildest, most repulsive dreams. The network of complex tissue ducts turns out to be a very ordinary maze with borders that look as much like a privet hedge as a wall of cells. The insectoid antibodies pose an equally pathetic-looking threat. Having said that, Gutz has competent, if unexceptional graphics. The presentation is slick and the scrolling It's just that the quest isn't particularly captivating. You spend ages wandering around in an aimless sort of fashion waiting for the fun to start. Gutz isn't a disaster - it's just not as nauseating or exciting as it claims to be.' KATI ... 69%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: detailed characters and backgrounds, with little colour and limited animation
Sound: above average title tune
Options: tune or spot effects during game
General Rating: A just above average attempt at a new type of arcade adventure.

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