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Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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James Leach
Chris Bourne

Here in the dilapidated YS shed, we all know about bugs. The place is infested with them. Okay, so a few here and there usually tend to brighten the place up, but recently it's definitely got out of hand. They've got into Andy's hair, and Rich's flares, and all over Linda's record collection.

And, coincidentally, pretty much the same thing happens in Audiogenic's new game (spook, eh?). The action takes place in a leafy Chicago suburb where a usually quiet, Brooksidey cul-de-sac has been completely overun by bugs. The poor suffering residents have scarpered, but before they did, they called in a chappie called the Exterminator (which is exactly what we'd do if ever we had any dosh!).

Of course, you're probably expecting this dude to look like 2 Arnie Schwarzeneggers rolled into one and covered with more guns that a World War 2 battleship. Sorry to disappoint you. You see, you don't actually, er, see him at all (well, not properly anyway), instead you just get this pair of rather large (and very nicely-drawn) hands, as he trundles in and out of people's houses, crushing and pounding all the bugs he finds inside. Yep, the whole set-up is definitely a smidgin on the strange side!

When you get into the first house, you find that each room is displayed in a sort of 3D style. Your hand's in front of you and it can more or less move around wherever you want. And, by golly gosh, it's going to need to because dashing at you from all directions (well, in front of you anyway) are a million and one horrible nasties with only one thing on their mind - giving you a very hard time!

They don't attack in ordered waves, ho no (being bugs, they probably don't have the brains) - they simply fly around the room irritating you until you manage to crush them to jam with your hand (which sort of bunches into a fist and slams onto the ground. It can also fire little laser blasts, though these don't seem to do much damage). And as well as having to pound lots of toys and tin cans you've also got an angry wasp to worry about which can't be killed, and follows you around doing its darndest to sting you and knock you out for a few seconds! All in all, it's just not on!


Spooky enough so far? Well wail fill you hear about the floor! In all the rooms this is covered by linoleum squares, like a big chessboard. But every time you pound a toy tank or Coke can then the squares in that line shift along by one. As soon as you've splatted about 6 things in one line, the lino will flash (oo-er!) and you'll have completed the room and be ready to move onto another. And that's, er, where the trouble begins...


It's just that all this non-stop action soon starts to feel repetitive (and it's not helped by all the confusing monochrome tints either). Occasionally things get livened up by a bonus screen where swarms of harmless rats run up and down the shelves of the basement (blast them with your laser to get megapoints), and there are some pretty funky toads lying around the place that make nice little splurgey sounds when you squash them - but by and large it soon becomes a case of 'business as usual'. Once you've cleared one house it's just a case of moving onto the next to do it all again. There might be a new room there, but in general it'll look very similar to the one before.

Exterminator is wacky enough to hold your interest for a while, but unfortunately it lacks the edge to really push it towards total fabbiness. Ho hum.

Out-of-the-ordinary shoot-and-puncher that should have been better. Doesn't offer that much to do.


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This is a typical house in Chicago. Underneath, there's a garage and a basement (not, you'll note, filled with the sort of crap British people pile up in their cellars). Toy tanks are on the attack down here, so you'd better get rid of them first. There's a hallway (as seen on every American sitcom ever) and a kitchen (ditto).

Upstairs in the bedroom, the lino (yes, the Americans do put down lino in their bedrooms!) has been aligned, and the room is clear of pests. The bathroom is full of spiders, and more are jumping out of the bath and loo (or 'tub and 'john') every second.

Finally there's the attic. Traditionally home of all things spooky, the average American attic has piles of things called yearbooks. These are photo albums they've saved to use in their autobiographies. They're called yearbooks because they only look at them once a year.

Note that Americans have no furniture in their homes.

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It seemed a quiet close, just like any other...

Your assault on each house is carefully planned.

The rats are overtaking the basement! Eek! (Better pop them with my super-bionic pea-shooting finger, eh?)