Mastertronic Ltd
1985
Arcade: Platform
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

12
Chris Bourne

The plot behind Chiller is very similar to the Michael Jackson video Thriller, at least the scenes are the same they're just presented in a slightly different sequence.

The action starts in the forest, rather than in the cinema, and then moves to the cinema, the ghetto, the graveyard and the shack (well actually it's a mansion now). That's about as far as the similarity goes, well it would be very hard to design a game in which the player had to run about singing, dancing and generally Pulling funny faces at the local population. Chiller still has a touch of the old Hollywood horror film, boy meets girl, boy loses girl to the gremlins, boy (this is your bit now) sets off to rescue his girl before it's too late Essentially Chiller is a platform game played over five screens. You start off in the forest and your task is to collect all of the crosses that are scattered around while avoiding contact with any of the ghouls, and that includes just about anything that moves. Should you collide then your energy, shown on a bar line, will decrease. You only have one life so it's important to keep your energy levels high and this is done by eating mushrooms (be careful not to eat the purple ones - not only do they look rather unpleasant but they actually make you ill).

After you have collected the crosses you can move to the next screen but on every screen the task is the same, collect the crosses, eat the mushrooms and avoid the ghouls. If you escape from the forest you must work your way through the next four screens before you have any chance of rescuing your girl. She has rather stupidly taken up a position on the roof of the Mansion. After you have collected the objects and climbed up to meet her you could be forgiven for expecting a break, sorry, no Hollywood happy endings here. You must escape and go through it all again if you want to get home safely.

Points are allocated according to the number of crosses you collect. This is rather curious since there is also a scoreboard which shows how many crosses you have collected. Of course the one glaring omission is the Thriller music, but that's all history now since the row about its use on the CBM64 version.

CRITICISM

'Chiller is a pretty good CBM64 to Spectrum conversion but seeing as the game's pretty boring anyway, it wasn 't really worth it. The graphics are small but okay for what they have to do, on the other hand they aren't really acceptable when you see the standard of some of the graphics produced today. there is a sound on/off button but virtually no sound to turn off. Chiller is quite playable for a while but soon becomes totally and utterly boring and I wanted to switch it off five minutes after loading it. I'd rather pay more for a good game than £1.99 for this rubbish.'

'Chiller has some oddsized graphics; some are very large and some are tiny and not of relative size to each other. Nevertheless, most of them are drawn quite nicely and it looks colourful The game has a very strange character - 'you' are meant to rescue your beloved but oddly enough, when you arrive she has also been possessed by evil spirits, so you have to run all the way back through the scenes again. When you analyse this, there doesn't seem much point to the game, to try and rescue someone you already know is possessed by evil spirits. But then again, I suppose you get what you pay for - a poor plot. l found moving about the screens quite difficult, the control keys were also possessed by evil spirits and didn't respond too well The only reason why l could recommend this game is for its price - it has no real other qualities.'

'Chiller actually looks rather good at first glance, with jolly graphics. But this impression only survives a few moments once you actually start playing. The game content is poor, the controls are sticky and the overall objective is not sufficiently exciting enough to hold the attention for more than a few minutes.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q,W,E,R,T/Y,U,I,O,P left/right, H to ENTER to jump
Joystick: Kempston, Fuller, Cursor type, Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: above average
Sound: can be toggled on/off but poor
Skill levels: 1
Lives: Only one life available but energy extendable throughout game
Screens: 5
General Rating: Looks like there's a lot going on, but in the end lacking lasting appeal.

61%
50%
31%
67%
15%
65%
42%

Screenshot Text

Just around midnight the howling begins, but despite some jolly looking graphics CHILLER has little thriller in it.