WITH YOUR ears ringing with the unlikely, burbling beeps of Viva L'Espagne, you start off on what promises to be a horrific holiday in the land of the matadors.
It is set in a Manic Miner format - even down to the minute sketchy graphics. You play Ted Blewitt proving to his work mates that he has actually crossed the channel for his holiday.
Ted has to find his camera, with his lost luggage, take 36 snaps and have them developed before the end of his month off.
The clock ticks away, Ted skurries around through day and night and the screen turns blue and black accordingly. Other than a whole series of lifts and ladders to leap onto, objects to avoid and others to pick up, you have to watch for the hazards of sunburn and too much booze.
If you get drunk, you may suffer a brain-numbing hangover or strange side effects. To keep an eye out for those disasters, a grid at the bottom of the screen shows drunk hangover and sunburn ratings. Points are scored for the money you've got.
As your wallet has disappeared you must find a credit card, on the second Screen, and there is a small amount of hopping and dodging before you can reach it. Beware Sir Clive's specs - they meander around the screen in an aimless fashion. If touched they send you back to the beginning of the screen.
If you manage to avoid gulping down a can of lager on the first screen there seems to be one less hazard on the second. After you've picked up your flexible friend, then you may have a pint - if the specs haven't nicked it first.
The lifts are everywhere and can be tricky to step on to. You may need to jump lifts to one carrying you in the opposite direction in order to leap onto another level. Some ladders will allow you to climb in one direction only - up. If you make a mistake and climb too far - you'll have to fall off and try again.
The most irritating feature occurs if you mistime a leap and fall a fair distance. You get action replay of your fall six or seven times. And there's absolutely nothing you can do to halt it.
How can Firebird put such a game into its new Hot range? It has produced better in the Silver range for a fraction of the price.
In any case, didn't Melbourne House use the idea of taking holiday snaps in Terrormolinos? The authors, Steve Marsden and Dave Cook, score zero for originality.