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Code Masters Ltd
1990
Gambling: Games
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

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55
Garth Sumpter
Chris Bourne

Fruit machines are the devil's own brew. Like a ravenous monster from hell, the familiar one-armed bandit has now leapt into the world of technology and although now limbless, it is far from armless with dazzling arrays of pulsing lights, special features, flashes and even voices to tempt the wary into parting with their worldly goods.

So why have a simulation of a fruit machine? As we all I know, you're supposed to win money out of 'em otherwise, why play 'em? I have to maintain that for me, any games where you have to stake your own money in order to try to gain more back doesn't work if there isn't the prospect of losing (or gaining) some cash. If you play poker without the prospect of winning money it's just not the adrenalin pumping experience it should it. Unfortunately, the same can be said of fruit machine simulator.

Climbing precariously down from my high horse, I must say that the game is a very good example of fruit machineness. Up to four players can compete against each other to see who is the best gambler. Each spin of the wheels sends the fruits tumbling towards the elusive winline. Get two or more similar items on the first two or more reels and presto! You win! A MEGA-TREK feature comes into play if you can light all the letters of MEGA-TREK with some of the numbers that appear on the fruit. Collect this and you move to the Mega-Trek screen where there is a multitude of various wins which you may collect or try to gamble for a higher prize. A Turbo feature (which appears to be random) is also included, whereby you can try to continue Treking for a better win or take whatever feature is lit.

What can I, a mere irritation or the bum of humanity say? The graphics are quite good, sound is okay and the playability is simple enough. The testability depends entirely upon your need to play fruit machines that cost nothing and pay even less. The prospect of using the program for practice before bunking off school and whizzing up the arcade to spend all the money out of your mum's purse that you've just stolen is frightening to say the least. So don't do it. It's illegal and your mum'll give you a well deserved thrashing to within a inch of your life - and all that happens before she turns you over to the Police. So be warned, if you feel the urge to leap into an arcade and gamble away the family fortune whilst hanging around with delinquents (like Kylie Minogue) buy this game instead.

Label: Codemasters
Author: In House
Price: £.95
Memory: 48K/128K/+2/+3
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

Why not give it a whirl if you're an addicted gambler?

75%
67%
74%
70%
70%

Screenshot Text

It's Mega Trek - No it's not an updated version of the adventures of the starship Enterprise - just a chance to get rich.