Fans, or should one say fan, of Andrew Lloyd-Hamster would no doubt be delighted to think that his mightily successful musical Phantom of the Opera had been turned into a computer game.
Well come down out of the flies my friends, because Erik - Phantom of the Opera from Chrys has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the musical. Instead it's a fairly standard platform effort.
Well yes all right, so it is based on the same story by a Frenchman with a name that sounds as if you have a helicopter jammed down your throat, but apart from that, there's no similarity at all.
Erik (I didn't know he was called Erik) is holding the beautiful singer Christine hostage in the theatre, and it's very much up to you, Raoul boyfriend of Christine, to go and rescue the dame.
No easy task. Being horribly deformed and all that, Erik's gone completely loopy, and is most intent on hanging on to Christine. So as Raoul creeps around the theatre in the dead of night, he comes across the most appalling obstacles. The Phantom throws bombs, skulls, top hats (top hats?), crystal chandeliers, grinning masks and suchlike at Raoul.
The only way to escape is to shoot them, or jump over them. And here we have a very major (we're talking big) problem. It's impossible, because of the nature of the controls, to walk and run at the same time. You only end up jumping. So you just have to stay still and shoot. No walking along taking out the top hats at the same time.
Big probs huh? Well it's worse than that, because these ghoulies and top hats come screaming at you thick and fast, and you're just bound to get nobbled pretty quickly.
What we have here is a scrolling arcade sort of a game. Although Erik is obviously very large, there is very little variety in the gameplay.
It's all highly complicated and not really very rewarding.
It's not hugely impressive to look at either, although there are some nice touches here and there. As your hero moves about, he holds on to his hat as he leaps, and starts to rub his throbbing head as he walks into a dead end. But he's a rather spindly sprite and the backgrounds of the theatre itself are remarkable only for their mediocrity.
Author: Mark Rivers
Price: £7.95 (£9.95 disc)
Reviewer: Tamara Howard
An interesting subject turned into an uninspiring game. Nice to look at for a bit, but after that, not a lot else.