Colin Stewart
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K

Robin Candy, Lloyd Mangram
Chris Bourne

Use of Computer: 79%
Graphics: 80%
Playability82: %
Getting Started: 78%
Addictive Qualities: 83%
Value for Money: 78%
Overall: 80%

As Frank it is your task to put together parts of a monster. These parts happen to be scattered around your mansion but this is no ordinary luxury pad, for instance you can only go down the stairs and firepoles, and how many houses have ice in them or coiled springs to get you up a floor?

There are seven bits of the monster to collect namely the head, shoulders, arms and legs which all have to be assembled in the right order, from the head downwards. When you have completed your monster you have to activate him if you have built him well with in the time limit, then the monster won't have to much of an electric shock but if you only just make in time then he will be very, very angry. In the first set of rooms there are some light bulbs that, if picked up, will make the clock turn back slightly. The next screen is a sort of 'Kong' variant. The monster stands at the top of the screen throwing things down at you, how many objects he throws depends on how quickly you completed the previous screen. You must now guide little Frank to the top of the screen safely, and on completion you move back to the 'mansion', screen to start building another monster. This time the layout of the mansion has changed and there is less time allowed. The game goes on like this, alternating between the construction screen and the Kong game while getting progressively harder.

Platform games have never been my favourites so it takes a really good one with some original features in it to capture my attention. A year ago Frank N. Stein did this but has now lost some of its appeal. The graphics are really only above average and the same goes for the sound which is limited to spot effects. Frank N. Stein is instantly playable but I very much doubt people will play over long periods of time, and it is probably more suited to ardent fans of platform games. Overall it's lost some appeal over the last year but I'm sure quite a few people would gain some of enjoyment from it.

At the time this came out, platform games were all the rage on the 'let's out-willy JSW' level. Frank N. Stein did offer some nice new twists to the straightforward platformer, but these were really just refinements. It was quite playable and amusing, but nothing really major.

(Rob) I would definitely lower the graphics rating by about 15% and the addictive qualities by about 7%. If Frank N Stein was a new game then I would give it somewhere around the 71% mark.