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1986
Arcade: Maze
£7.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

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145
Chris Bourne

Dandy, the game that has inspired many clones, has been released by ELECTRIC DREAMS on the Spectrum. Originally written by student John Palevich for the Atari as part of his thesis, the game went on to become a major hit in the arcades under the new name of Gauntlet. ELECTRIC DREAMS have converted Gauntlet back to home computers under the original name.

The scenario remains the same as in the arcade version. The player controls one of two characters, Thor and Sheba. The idea is to penetrate deep within the dungeons pillaging treasure. The dungeons, however, are inhabited by some very nasty creatures, mostly giant spiders. When you kill all the nasties in one screen, you must then disable the control box behind them. The treasure and other useful objects are contained within separate compounds in the dungeon. In order to move between these dungeons, keys must be found.

Your character can also arm him/her self with some pretty potent spells. These are identified as lightning flashes around the game. Using these, it is possible to rid an entire screen of monsters. Also, to keep your characters energy up, various tasty titbits can be picked up along the way.

The game has a two player option. If two people are playing then each person controls one character, with the object remaining the same. The characters are viewed from above, and the action moves from screen to screen in the direction of your character. The character's status reports are at the bottom of the screen. A square box represents how much treasure has been collected, A key shows how many keys are in your possession and a lightning flash shows the number of spells safely nestled in your pouch. Between the two status charts is a small window showing which level you are on. Treasure can be traded for energy if your supplies get too low. The game is over when all the treasure has been found and all the monsters killed.

CRITICISM

'Mmmm, though Dandy is a good game, I don't think that it's quite as good as Druid The graphics and colour are excellent, but the game slows down to an awful extent when there are lots of characters on screen. What the officially licensed version of Gauntlet will hold though, I don't know. We wait with bated breath…'

'ELECTRIC DREAMS have once again come up with the goods. The play area is well detailed containing lots of colour, and the little creatures are well animated. All this said I must confess that I found the game quite boring after a few plays. Also, the sound only contains a few quiet spot effects. If you can't wait for the 'official' version of Gauntlet then this could be for you'

'Gosh a Gauntlet variant, and it's a really good one too! The game is appealing from the word go and is easy enough at first to give you a real sense of achievement, and compelling enough to make you play on. The graphics are in the most part very good but they do get messy occasionally. The two player characters are nicely detailed and they move around very quickly. The sound however is a little disappointing. If you like this type of game then I strongly recommend that you give this a good eyeball.'

COMMENTS
Control keys
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: Understandably limited
Graphics: nice shading, inclined to get a little messy
Sound: some nice spot effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: twenty screens per level. Three levels in total
General Rating: Not a bad Gauntlet variant.

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Screenshot Text

Thor approaches a bunch of meanies, but if he can get through the door, he can pick up the objects top right.

With the place really swarming with meanies, Thor's got his work cut out.