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Kevin Baker
Arcade: Maze
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Chuckman is based on the popular arcade game and bears a faint resemblance to Maziacs. Chuckman roars around a yellow maze on a skateboard, desperately trying to find and defuse eight timebombs before the time limit runs out. The maze is considerably larger than the playing area, although a general view of the maze immediately around Chuckman can be selected.

Time bombs can only be defused once a toolkit has been collected, and these are dotted at random about the maze, like the time-bombs. Equally there are holes in the ground which cannot be passed over safely, although these may be filled in if you collect a wheelbarrow first.

Food is also available and must be taken frequently if your energy level isn't to fall to dangerously low levels. The other major hazards are giant boots which tromp around killing you off. If you collect a spade first, it may be used to dig a hole, across which the boots cannot pass. When all eight time-bombs have been defused, another eight will appear. Between different games the maze is randomly generated.


'The skate boarder, when stationary, waits impatiently, tapping his foot and leaning on the skate board. His only protection against stomping boots is to dig a hole, although if he finds a pair of roller skates the boots seem afraid of them. I was very impressed with Chuckman: the graphics are good, your hero being particularly well implemented, and the game was fun to play. It also requires a good memory and I enjoyed it.'

'There's no doubt that Chuckman immediately recalls Maziacs to mind, not only the maze, but also the very good animation of your hero. The graphics are of a high standard, with a very good status board to the right of the playing area, which shows time-bombs to defuse, hi-score, score, whether you are carrying a spade, wheelbarrow, a pair of skates for killing off boots, or a toolkit. It's one of those games that doesn't appear all that difficult at first, but ends up being really quite addictive.'

'This is supposed to be based on the arcade game with a few differences, but I think they've forgotten the arcade game and developed an entirely new one. The map facility is very good showing you about six times what you see when actually playing. The task is quite formidable, monitoring energy levels and avoiding pitfalls and boots. The scrolling action of the maze works very smoothly, and Chuckman is animated very well. There is no sound while playing, only when killed, something which may appeal to parents. A game that can be recommended.

Control keys: Q/A up/down, C/B left/right, SPACE = view maze, CAPS SHIFT=dig pit
Joystick: Kempston (one reviewer noted that 'dig' didn't work)
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: good, smooth, detailed and big
Sound: very little
Skill levels: 3
General Rating: Very good, and pretty addictive.


Screenshot Text

Spades, wheelbarrows, toolkits and bombs - get your skates on save the world from stomping boots.