Empire Software
1989
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
£9.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

54,55
Chris Jenkins
Chris Bourne

Comic fans rejoice! Spider-Man and Captain America are teamed together for the first time (on a computer at least) in this latest adaptation from the famous Marvel Comics universe, Doctor Doom's Revenge.

Doc Doom, who you secretly probably want to win anyway, has pinched a nuclear missile and is threatening to detonate it over New York. Spidey and Cap. as you are informed in the colourful accompanying booklet comic, have teamed up after a chance encounter with a gang of bankrobbers, and, since the Fantastic Four and the Avengers are having the weekend off, it's up to our two heroes to break into Doom's castle, duff up his assortment of super-goons and save the day.

Trouble la, while this might have been an excuse for all sorts of platforms-and-puzzles malarkey a la Batman, what the game actually consists of is a series of combat scenarios interspersed with comic-style introductions - Cap meets Rhino, Spidey meets Electro, ho-hum.

This wouldn't be all bad, but the backgrounds are poorly drawn, the characters are very messy (looking as if they've been designed with the digital equivalent of a pen with a bent nib), and the animation is something to be ashamed of. When Cap leaps over the head of a guardian robot, you can practically count the frames of animation as he jerks through the air.

That said, the combat sequenced are quite challenging; you have to determine which moves work best to sap your opponent's power, and the fighting moves available change according to your distance from your enemy - shield throw, high kick, web cast and so on (Spidey, incidentally, has a limited number of webs to work with). For instance, in fighting a guardian robot, get as far away from him as possible and just keep flinging your shield - this will soon put enough dents in his tin head to put him out of action (at which point Cap does a pansy little dance of triumph). The same tactic won't work with Rhino, though, 'cos he just keeps up close to you and butts you senseless, at which point you get the worst end-title screen I've ever seen in my life - a screen full of orange and yellow dots captioned "what New York looked like after the superheroes failed." Hah!

It's good fun seeing some of your favourite baddies, such as Hobgoblin and Electro, coming to computerised life, but overall this is a very stale idea, not very well executed. "FOOOOM!". as Stan Lee would probably have said.

Label: Titus
Price: £8.95
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Comic-strip style combat concoction which doesn't quite click.

70%
71%
68%
67%
68%

Screenshot Text

The intro screens announce the up-coming excitement. Shame the rest of the graphics aren't of this standard.