Icon Design Ltd
1987
Arcade: Adventure
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

22,23
Mark Rothwell, Robin Candy, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

The tyrannical Ming is intent upon destroying Earth. To save humanity he must be killed, and Flash Gordon is the man for the job.

Deposited in a dangerous jungle world pierced by pathways, Flash has 24 hours to complete his mission. Along the winding tree-lined routes he runs, jumps, and ducks to avoid poisonous spiders, rock-throwing gorillas and spear-slinging skeletons. Should Flash fall foul of the Pings in the foliage, he loses valuable time.

A map onscreen shows the jungle with identifiable features such as lakes, mountains, and a river. Mows along the paths point toward the Caves Of Barin, where Flash can find invaluable help.

For protection Flash carries a gun, and can collect extra ammunition from scattered paths-side chests. Some dangers need to be blasted several times before they're destroyed - but not all the advancing beasties in this flick-screen world need be shot. Some can be avoided with a bit of dexterous ducking and diving.

Once Flash has forced his way through the jungle's thickness, he meets Barin, owner of the cave. In combat, and uses a combination of his violent skills - fly kicks and punches to head and body. He has four minutes to win.

Should Barin succumb to Flash's violent charms, Flash becomes a biker with a powerful machine. Dismissing wardens and traffic cops, he vrooooooooms off in search of Ming. But his progress is hindered by flying guards, who must be overcome using the bike's aim-able blaster before Rash can reach maximum speed.

Exacerbation awaits: robot guards dropping explosive devices and, beyond them, a minefield. Both deplete Flash's energy levels, which can be restored if Flash passes through power gates (their direction is indicated at the top of the bike's control panel).

Beyond these perils is the jet-biking Ming. The missile system on Rash's bike can take out this personification of evil, once he's within range. But any inaccuracy or delay provides Ming with the opportunity to attack in a particularly efficient manner...

CRITICISM

'Flash, I love you, but you only have 24 hours to save the earth,' Flash Gordon's sweetheart once said. I doubt he'd bother trying if it meant having to play this difficult and ultimately boring game. The graphics are small, and though they're quite well-defined they appear somehow cluttered, especially on the opening jungle scene. Flash himself looks rather like a deep-sea diver - and, come to think of it, moves rather like one as well. You may get some enjoyment out of Flash Gordon if you like this type of game, but I doubt it.' MARK

'I'm surprised it's taken this long for a Flash Gordon game to appear - and I was expecting something a bit better than this. The graphics are poor, and Flash doesn't really live up to his superhero image. Sound is limited to the occasional spot effect and a repetitive title tune. And the gameplay itself is bland, with little action. Flash Gordon is quite easy to get into but proves unaddictive and uninspiring - it's a shame that such a popular hero is represented by a substandard game.' ROBIN

'The graphics in Flash Gordon are pretty awful, and the game isn't very interesting either. The first sequence looks like Martech's Tarzan game, and Flash Gordon is just as boring as that - though it's a fraction of the price. Because of it's low playability and addictivity, I wouldn't recommend this except to collectors of Flash Gordon memorabilia.' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q/A up/down, O/P left/right, SYMBOL SHIFT for fire
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface II
Use of colour: mainly monochrome with additional colour out of the playing area
Graphics: lots of them, but generally poor
Sound: average tune, meagre spot FX
Skill levels: one
Screens: three minigames, each with many screens
General Rating: A mediocre Commodore conversion which doesn't work to the full potential of the licence.

60%
51%
45%
38%
42%

Screenshot Text

With the business above and the map below, fast-action man Flash on the right faces a death-dealing denizen of the jungles.