1985
Arcade: Action
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

49
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

FIREBIRD has rushed straight from the toilet with its latest game in which Gerry the Germ tries to prove himself by giving some poor human victim a massive coronary. The company has been caught with its pants down as the game is unplayable.

Inside the cassette box you will find a poster illustrated with blue-tinted cartoons, rather like the ones you find on the walls of doctors' waiting rooms. The diagrams and cartoons are supposed to show you what to do on each screen. Instead the author has gone OTT in a guided tour of the human body's sewage system, with the help of bog rolls, deep water in the bladder and gas pockets. (Note to sensitive readers: STOP READING HERE).

Gerry has failed his Stinkploma at the Illistute of Infectology. Now he's fighting back and hopes to get that beauty prize of Virulent Virus of the Year. To do that he has to go through a healthy human's water works and give it the wobbles. If successful body temperature will increase and things begin to cook.

However, the only thing simmering was my blood, when I was faced with the task of getting off the first screen, 'humorously' entitled Lungeroo.

In the Lungeroo Gerry must collect a bottle of oxygen which is created when blood cells get together at the centre of the screen. Firebird gives some advice for conquering this bag of hot air but it's damn near impossible to carry out.

Gerry is supposed to go to the bottom of the screen and position himself in the middle. He should then wait until the blood cells split up and follow one as it does its acrobatics while helping to form a bottle.

According to Firebird you can then go in and collect the bottle. Nobody in the office could collect one of the bottles - let alone the six required to finish the screen. If you do succeed on this screen, then you pass into the kidneys, where a rather unpleasant incident in the loo gets Gerry into the bladder.

If Gerry gets hit by a blood cell in the lungs he's evacuated to the bladder. He must paddle his boat which rises and falls as water comes in through a tap and leaves in a flush of glory.

A toilet roll will block the flow if you don't keep it out of the way of the tap and under your boat, while avoiding a cock and bull {what? Ed) which will try to sink you. If that happens you're sunk for good and you immediately return to the lungs - it's so true to life it actually has you throwing up.

From the bladder you pass into the stomach - this sure is some sick person. To do this the water level must touch the bottom of a palm tree on an island. It's difficult because when Gerry tries to defend himself the zapper repels the bog roll which flies across the water and flips up into the tap's mouth.

In the stomach Gerry has to avoid tapeworms, gas pockets and healthy foods such as apples. The stomach also contains aspirin which can be controlled with an acid bottle and junk food which gets in the way of Gerry's fun.

The pancreas is even more disheartening, with its white blood cells, medical supplies and body driver who controls the digestive systems. You get rid of the little man by burying him under an avalanche of coal.

At last, the heart and the quest is almost over for the gallant germ. Gerry must get past heart boxers, arrows, axes, and a spring which will take you back into deep water where your troubles will start again.

The graphics are excellent, the characterisation well done and the plot is almost original. The only problem is that it's unplayable even with a joystick.

Gerry the Germ may be part of Firebird's top range but it's hardly hot - just a little flushed.

John Gilbert

Publisher: Firebird
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, programmable

***

3/5