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US Gold Ltd
1987
Arcade: Maze
£4.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

58
Sara Biggs
Chris Bourne

What a fine game Gauntlet is - kept me amused for hours (You mean months! Ed). And this is a fine addition to it - another 512 whole levels to zap your way through. The blister on my joystick thumb is getting bigger by the day.

You need the original game to play it, loading this in first so that you can choose the character you want to be, and selecting between joystick or keyboard. Then, where the tape tells you to rewind to the start of side 2, you just load in the Deeper Dungeons tape and orft you jolly well go.

The first thing you notice is that it's not vastly different to the original. Then you start playing and realise that, while its not that different, it's lots harder. There are loads more nasties to fight - the generators throw them out at a worrying rate of knots. Also, the blue flashing traps appear right from the very beginning. These are to be avoided like the plague - blunder into them and they'll remove the walls holding the baddies back. Then you'll have to fight like fury if you're going to progress any further. In fact, the whole game needs furious weapon wielding, 'cos there's more of everything and you really have to hack away.

The dungeons themselves have been titivated too. They're similar to the original (let's fact it how many dungeon designs can you have?) but they're a bit flashier-looking and a sight more tortuous. If you're anything like me you'll be wandering around some of them for quite a while before you can get through to an exit.

All the usual bits and pieces appear, but there's more of those too. The invisibility amulets turn up quite regularly, and the potions are easy to find and collect, apart from the ones at the end of passages with an exit in front - most annoying. The treasure now twinkles attractively in the chests, though treasure rooms are still frustrating - why do I never find the exit before the counter gets to zero? Food is available too - both the plates and the bottles of cider. Mind you, as with everything else, there's also lots more poisoned cider - just look out for OXO before you have a guzzle.

And the meanest trick of all is that there are more Deaths dashing around. Everything's okay if you've been wise and stocked up on your potions, or if your joystick waggling is finely tuned so that you can out-run them. but if you're a ham-fisted fool like me, you'll find yourself in a couple of sticky situations.

If you're hooked on Gauntlet, then you've probably already got your fiver put on one side for this. If you weren't convinced by the original, then you'll not be very interested, but I can't help it if you're soft in the head! Rollicking good fun - I love it!

7/10
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