Dinamic Software
Snatcho
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
£2.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

36,37
Tamara Howard
Chris Bourne

I did so want to like Game Over from Imagine. I hated the packaging so much that I really wanted to enthuse rapturously over the game. But I couldn't. I even found it hard to laugh at Game Over, and boy, is that serious.

We begin with a left-to-right flipping affair, a space-age prison chock-a-block with robotic guards, apparently flying on legs of lamb. Or perhaps they're cylindrical vacuum cleaners. Anyway, the graphics being somewhat on the small side, it's not at all easy to tell, but they're v. peculiar all the same.

Off you go, the hardy, fully equipped, but not overly bright Arkos, across twenty screens of flippin' good fun (eh, eh) across the hostile planet Hypsis, in order to gain the access code to the even more unpleasant planet of Sckunn in order to fight the evil queen. She of the infamous advert.

The first two screens are dead easy. Just run along and shoot at the meaty guards. Should you see a barrel, shoot it. It could contain something nice, like extra weaponry, a new lease of life in the shape of a heart, or it could be a bomb, in which case, jump like crazy, you're going to die. It should be said now that you can't die merely through being shot. This is one of those games which provides you with an energy allowance at the beginning of the game, which is drained whenever you're shot, and which goes away completely if you touch a bomb or fall off the edge of a cliff.

The third screen is far more difficult. A case of leaping across a void on to two platforms, which bob up and down, whilst being attacked by a throng of robots. It's even trickier than it sounds, and unbearingly frustrating because you keep falling off and dropping dead. Then it's Game Over for you sonny.

If you do manage to leap across the void and take out a few more aliens, you come to a charming woodland scene. In screen shots these look pretty good. Nice mountains combined tastefully with big slob monsters. (You'll see what I mean.) But wait until they move. Ugh! Because alas Game Over is truly the home of Mr Attribute Clash. Monsters merge with Arkos, who, in an extremely slovenly way merges into anything that comes within his flight path. Not a pretty sight. So this is perhaps the only time that we can be grateful for the fact that the figures are so small.

Game play is a redeeming feature, it's fast and frantic, multiple monsters swoop from all over the place firing wildly and zinging into Arkos, draining his energy, and sending him back to the beginning. However, death is a rather attractive event. Arkos disintegrates into little itsy-bitsy twinkling stars which waft away off the top of the screen. An appallingly whimsical display totally out of place within the context of the game.

The nicest thing that can be said about Game Over is that it's a run-of-the-mill screen flipping sort of game that gives you a lot to shoot at and not a great deal else. It's simple to play - usual joystick or keyboard controls, but it's not overly enthralling, and the attribute problem is awful. Mostly a disappointment.

Label: Imagine
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tamara Howard

Flip screen game that fails to captivate. Average shooting, collecting stuff that really ought to know better. (And it has tasteless packaging).

5/10