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Softstone Ltd
1984
Arcade: Platform
£5.95
£2.5
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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60
Chris Bourne

Timothy Williams is probably best known for his first commercial game Odyssey 1, which was reviewed in the very first issue of CRASH. That was produced by Perfection Software, now marketed by Softstone. Farenheit 3000 is set in a reactor, Dragon Reactor to be precise. What's happened is that the reactor has gone critical and is about to 'meltdown'. Visions of atomic bombs and mushroom clouds pass through the minds of the local residents. Luckily, the worst that could happen is an enormous radiation leakage that could wipe out half of the South Coast of England. The coast is in a panic, the ceramic coated Uranium Oxide core has reached Farenheit 3000! There is only one chance. You must locate and operate all the pressure valves in order to release the excess pressure and flood the core...

Farenheit 3000 is a 64 screen platform game along the lines of Jet Set Willy. The screens are linked vertically and horizontally, each one filled with a different combination of platforms. Anything flashing is lethal with radiation and kills on the spot, except single flashing character blocks which are the valves. Each room is also filled with radioactive hazards, creatures bouncing up and down and from side to side, which are instant death if touched. In some rooms, enormous pools of radioactive water must be jumped. You are provided with a pretty giant leap and an immunity to long drops as long as you do not hit anything lethal on the way down.

The screen display includes a title for each room in hallowed tradition, as well as telling you how many valves are yet to be done, and what the radiation level is. This latter, acts as a time limit for the game.

CRITICISM

'Farenheit 3000 is basically a JSW clone, and it follows the same game idea very closely. After playing it I felt that although the graphics were not quite as good, it was harder and had some nice features. Not giving the game away, I will mention but one, 'in the great desert, quick escape' you have only a few seconds before you die. Very intricate jumping is required in many cases. Although this is a JSW clone it is still very good and very playable.'

'On the presentation screen it states that the program was written by Tim Williams of Perfection Software. This game is very good - a difficult Jet Set Willy style. I wonder why Perfection could not have brought out a game such as this before Softstone apparently took them over? I must stress with this game that you must have a sense of extreme timing, a good TV and a great sense of distance, for all these skill elements come into their own here. This game is not for anybody who is not willing to spend time to realise what the game requires from them. Graphics have an odd colour scheme, some go back to the days of just black and white TV while others are multi-coloured. Animation is a particularly strong point in Farenheit 3000 and in quite a few different types of graphics the animation is quite superb. If you found JSW too easy, boring and unchallenging, but you liked the type of game, you will most probably enjoy this one.'

'There's certainly plenty of scope for going barmy in this platform jumping game with its 64 excruciatingly hard screens. The game plays heavily on timing jumps to perfection as well as judging distances and taking risks on that last pixel of toe grip. You jump very well, quite high, and another novel aspect becomes apparent - some jumps require a rebound effect to get up onto another platform. This rebound idea can play havoc with you though, bouncing you off into a nasty at the worst possible moment. I'm not sure I enjoyed all the graphics all the while, because some very strange colouring is used. On the whole they are pretty good though and the animated nasties are imaginative and detailed. For me it just slips from master class, but this is certainly no weak-kneed JSW copy and it should prove highly popular.'

COMMENTS

Control keys: Q/W left/right and SPACE to jump
Joystick: doesn't need one
Keyboard play: very responsive, and simple to use
Use of colour: uneven, ranging from very good to definitely odd
Graphics: good, smooth, varied and detailed animation
Sound: nice tune and mild spot effects
Skill levels: 1
Lives: N/A - limited by radiation level
Screens: 64
General Rating: A very good, hard game with its own features, good value for money.

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Screenshot Text

The start screen from FARENHEIT 3000, and the first one where you discover how hard this game can be.

In the Dead Zone, and now the jumping skills are being honed to a fine pitch - or are they?