Quicksilva Ltd
1987
Arcade: Platform
£8.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

29
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

Unless I'm mistaken this is Quicksilva's first coin-op conversion. It's taken from a Taito machine called Elevator Action which, though not particularly well known, is an addictive platforms thing.

Use the elevators of the title to explore the levels of the enemy headquarters in search of secret documents. Each floor is protected by an enemy agent dressed in a blue mac and felt hat and you, as agent Otto, have to dispose of them with a gun or karate kick while they continuously fire their machine guns. Lots of jumping and ducking is indicated.

The elevators come and go and seem to have minds of their own but, once you've got Otto into one you can move it up and down under joystick control. Otto's movements in the lift are limited. He can only move from side to side and fire his gun. Meanwhile, the enemy agents fire across the lift shaft and anything that gets in the way of the line of bullets is cut in half.

Otto's own gun has two effects while he's in the elevator. If you keep your finger on the Fire button he'll mow down any enemy agents and, if you're lucky, knock out the building's lights. For the few moments that all the lights are out you have the opportunity to travel down a few extra floors in search of doors.

When you find a floor with a red door stop the lift and take Otto to the door handle and press down on the joystick. He'll slip into the room, nick the papers and leave. Then it's off to other floors and other doors.

The lower levels of the HQ contain stairways and the most perverse layout of elevators I've ever seen. Otto will scoot up or down stairs at your joysticks command. He can also hold one lift on a floor and step off it on to another lift but you'll have to keep the stick down or Otto'll slide back up the building again.

Your score and the number of papers you find are the most important factors in playing Elevator Action. You score 100 points for each enemy agent you cut down, 150 for each set of papers you steal and 200 for every light you blow out.

It's funny. The game is so simple, but slipping from elevator to elevator, snuffing out the bad guys and shooting out the lights combine to make a pretty compulsive little joystick jerker. The graphics aren't the hottest I've seen but there's almost no visible colour clash, and the scrolling's smooth and fast.

I liked it.

Label: Quicksilva
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: John Gilbert

****

Conversion from the little known Taito coin-up turns out much better than expected. The play is pretty compulsive.

4/5