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Cascade Games Ltd
1988
Arcade: Action
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

52
Jonathan Davies
Chris Bourne

If all games were presented as nicely as this one we'd... er, it would... um, well, they'd be a darned sight more interesting to look at! Frightmare is all dressed up in some great artwork, with a large instruction leaflet, cum poster, a trendy character set and a reasonably atmospheric tune.

Even the boring, irrelevant blurb isn't too boring and irrelevant. According to Cascade, deep at the back of your subconcious lie Frightmares, figments of the darker side of your imagination which, with the help of ten quid's worth of computer software, will escape from behind their thin veil of reason. They will appear to you in your dreams and imprison you...

Oh, enough of this trash. This is a game, not to be taken seriously. Anyway, I'm scared.

Having been trapped by these nasty dreams, the obvious thing to do is escape, of course, by waking up (although if you've ever tried waking yourself up in the middle of a nightmare you'll know how tricky it can be). Tipping a bucket of cold water over yourself is out for a start, so you're going to have to do it by advancing the clock to 8.12am - wakey, wakey time.

This is done by exploring every room, sorry, dream, in the game, each one adding six minutes to the clock. Points are scored by shooting the assorted ghouls and vampires etc, you'll find knocking around the innermost recesses of your cranium, which will increase your "dream state" to a higher level.

Essentially, what it all boils down to in a nutshell, is a platform game. Horrific, but true. It's heavily camouflaged with some well-designed graphics, but after years of training I can pick out a Willy clone at a hundred paces! You are represented by a little bloke who jumps around the screen, leaping around rotting corpses, dodging monsters and collecting objects. Huh!

And sadly, like most unoriginal game concepts, even the most original of plots can't make it any more fun to play. It isn't even particularly scarey, (although perhaps that would be asking a bit much of our flexible friend). P'raps they should have shoved in a few members of the EastEnders cast, or even a couple of digitised Gateway check-out girls. Now that would have made your hair stand on end!

Another unfortunate case of "Here's a good plot! Now let's base a game around it!" I've seen scarier things on "The Flumps"!

"Frightened? You may well be if you look too closely at the price-tag on this one!"

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Screenshot Text

Come on! Why aren't your teeth chattering? That's you with the gun, having just fired one of your precious silver bullets at a monster. "Bad Dream" is your current dream state - pretty tame compared to a "Nefarious Nightmare," the ultimate in-bed entertainment.