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1986
Arcade: Action
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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120
Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

Harvey and his drinking partner Hamish Highball like nothing better than to slope off early from work to catch the Happy Hour in their local bar. After a few beers they start to become rather violent, and start scrapping - their favourite occupation. Being a bit short on brains, they use their beer bellies and tough heads to beat the living daylights out of each other.

The basic idea of this game is to out-manoeuvre your opponent or the computer. The screen is divided into horizontal sections, divided by wires which the characters move along by swinging with their arms. Harvey and his chum can move vertically, by leaping from wire to wire. As they move over the background it changes shade, and the two combatants try to turn as much of the screen to their own colour as possible. The idea is to isolate your opponent inside a zone of your own colour.

There is a squiggly straws at each side of the screen, one for Harvey and one for Hamish. Cocktail appear in the playing area, and the more drinks a rotund fighter slums, the higher the liquid level in his straw rises.

When Harvey and Hamish collide, they are both stunned for a while by the impact, and start to move around the screen erratically, out of control. The more booze you have in your straw, the quicker you recover from this dazed state and if the other boozer is still helpless it's possible to hem in in with your colour and win.

There are five levels of difficulty, and the start level is selected before play begins.

CRITICISM

'I'd go as far as saying that this is the most playable budget game I have seen to date. The gameplay is fast and frustrating. It does lack a little something graphically, but it's hard to say what the sound is a bit lame - but there are a few tune-ettes and minimal effects. I'd say that this is well worth the couple of quid FIREBIRD are asking. Go out and buy it - NOW!' BEN

'What a weird old game this is. It took a bit of getting used to, but I began to enjoy it when I'd finally discovered what it was all about. Harvey Headbanger is not as playable as it should be, but with two players careering out of control it can become fun. The presentation is quite original, with lots of cutely presented instructions and menus. It would have been even better with a friendly little tune and a well drawn title screen - but for two pounds one can't complain, can one?' PAUL

'I'd heard the Amstrad version had received acclaim, but from the brief and very unatmospheric instructions (typical of FIREBIRD!), I must confess I didn't really expect any great things from its Spectrum counterpart. Nothing great was revealed to me on my first single player game, but everything became clear after having played two-player. The pace isn't over fast, but it becomes very frantic as your opponent comes close to hemming you in. A very simple idea on the part of mom, but well worth the two quid.' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys: definable - up, down, left, right
Joystick: Kempston
Use of colour: adds greatly to the playability
Graphics: good animation
Sound: spot effects
Skill levels: five
Screens: one
General Rating: A fun, original game.

74%
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Screenshot Text

Frantic guzzling action as a couple of refreshing drinks appear for the two challengers.