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Melbourne House
1987
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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57
John Molloy
Chris Bourne

Melbourne House has combined a dungeons and dragons type character (with strength, endurance, intelligence, luck and charisma) with arcade action and a text adventure. Not only that, but the way the game plays depends on the way you've set up your character, so you'll need to play it several times to develop the best combination.

At the start you have to choose Doc's attributes (oo- er!) It you make Doc's strength Supersonic he'll tall over at the first sign of battle 'cos he'll have no endurance, so you'll need balance and forethought. Once you've done that you're off into the game. At each location you're presented with a set of choices to make. If you decide a bit of blood and gore is needed, go into the arcade combat section. where you battle against one of Doc's enemies. If you win, you can carry on, if you lose, it's back to the beginning. The battle movements are well thought out, and you need a fair amount of practice before you beat the baddies. Once you've bashed the life out of them, the choices pop up again and this time you may choose to go into the text adventure bit.

Here you get descriptions of the rooms as you wander through them, and there's also a picture of Doc in glorious cross-eyed technicolour. As the game progresses Doc's expression changes, showing just how well you're doing. At the bottom of the screen is the games menu window - this displays the options you have to choose from to make Doc do something else. Depending on what you choose, Doc will either carry on with his adventuring or he'll go back to the arcade battle sequence, so you've got to choose wisely. You also have the option to save your Doc to tape if you're successful and want to carry on at a later date, and this also means that you can use your Doc in future games of the Doc The Destroyer series, since Melbourne House has promised us more to come.

Doc The Destroyer's an interesting mix of the two types of gameplay - both the hack-and-slash and the think-it-through. All good clean fun, I reckon

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