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Screen 7 Ltd
Arcade: Gang beat-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Robin Alway
Chris Bourne

Let's face it. You only need a modicum of intelligence to realise that another scrolling beat-'em-up is hardly the kind of stuff civilisation as we know it is crying out for. I mean, even a new Kajagoogoo album would offer more excitement.

That is, of course, unless said game could offer some new and original features that put it above all the other crusty old limb-cracking titles. Don't start winching your hopes up though.

Fallen Angle is another one of those beat-'em-ups with a cosmopolitan flavour and its only slightly original element is the way you get to visit the underground railway systems of London, New York and Paris, inflicting acts of violence on the mean muthas you meet there. The excuse for extending this fraternal head butt across the ocean is an international drugs ring which our vigilante-type chappie Fallen Angel wants to crack. Each rail network has several stations and you need to pick up an air ticket left randomly at one of them in order to progress to the next country so you can impress everyone with the international underground plans in the back of your Filofax.

Your opponents in Fallen Angel are pretty much like you average knife-wielding drug pusher next door and although they're nicely drawn and pretty meaty they don't exactly send out vibrations of toughness or offer the variety of no-good types in Target Renegade, for example. I suspect a quick blast of The Kids from Grange Hill's rousing anti drug anthem Just Say No would probably have them cowering for mercy. Even the evil drug baron positioned at the last station of each country isn't the fearsome mega baddie you might have expected from similar outings.

For an 'Angel of Death' old Fallen doesn't seem to have many punches and kicks up his belt. Don't go thinking there are any carelessly mislaid weapons about for you to use either. The gameplay's just about deep enough to paddle in but the baddies are too easily duffed up to make any real demands on your adrenal gland.

I suppose some might find solace in yet another beat-'em-up if they're already bored with the hoard of superior titles and no doubt trainspotters too will have fun, erm, spotting the large number of locos, but personally I'd rather scribble on the sole of my slipper with a biro. It'd be much more addictive.

No probs technically but the limpness of the action makes for a pretty unsatisfying experience.


Screenshot Text

Here I am in good old Blight (Level Two). Needless to say, the train I'm on at the moment arrived late!

Trainspotter time. This little beauty's number is 45684395, or, as I've only spotted one so far, number two.

This is me. I've got a different colour beret for every day of the week. Woopee!

One of three types of baddie.

Energy. Replenish it by picking up a dagger left at one of the stations.

Hmmm, as you can see the lives counter isn't exactly specific.

Time left 'til the plane for Paris departs.