Paul W. Reynolds
1984
Arcade: Adventure
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

56
Chris Bourne

All or Nothing is the first game from Abbex since Krakatoa, which was a CRASH smash in the Spring. To describe all the playing Instructions for this game would take an age as it is somewhat complicated. However, the basic objective is to parachute into an armed camp and more or less destroy it, and in the process find some secret files. Although All or Nothing is basically an arcade game which uses isometric perspective graphics rather similar to those in Mt Attack, there are also some elements of strategy and adventure.

On screen, the playing area shows a part of the enemy camp with its high wire fences around the perimeter. Directing 'you' causes the screen to scroll to follow the action. As in Mt Attack there are four camera views for when you get hidden behind a building, but this function is automatically activated if you do disappear from view. Inside the perimeter there are several buildings, some of which are warehouses, some are offices. The camp is patrolled by lots of guards and guard dogs. The guards are armed and shoot to kill. Below the playing area is the score line, time and six graphics depicting objects which may be collected or used. Movement around the camp is by means of a left and right rotation with a forward movement, which leaves fire and back on a joystick free for select and use (an object).

Of the objects, the transmitter may be used to request more time to complete the mission; your watch (which you lost just before landing on your parachute) must be found, and using it will indicate the amount of time left; boxes of ammo allow you to shoot at the guards with your gun; explosives have a time delay fuse and can be useful for creating diversions; money may be used to bribe the guards; gas cannisters may be used for knocking guards out. Disabled guards may be searched and may be found to have useful objects on them, like ID cards, which will give you a time of Immunity. But most things you will need can be found within the warehouses.

Before you can search any of the warehouses you must first discover the office and break the code on the safe (within 30 seconds). This will result in giving you a key to a specific warehouse which you must discover. In this first warehouse you will find the key to another, and so on. Also inside there are various of the useful objects. You can only collect objects that you do not possess or are low on.

At any time (after entering the main office) you may leave the site via the Matter Transmitter. The overall object is to collect the secret industrial files and make good your escape.

CRITICISM

'A variation on the Mt Attack idea with more content seems like a good idea. Here there are several tasks etc. which make the game last a little longer. The graphics are represented in good 3D, but as in Mt Attack, controlling the man is a little less satisfactory. Overall, a pretty good game which takes time to get into. Quite a few nice touches too, like the bouncing END titles to a game. '

'All or Nothing is a very good game with very good graphics. It is also an interesting game and true to life, as the guards do not often see you if you are lurking behind a building and they come rushing after you if you make a loud noise (like shooting a gun or using the gas). The safe combination is a hard one to crack, but once you do it is all plain sailing. It's a pity that the playing area is so small, only 10 buildings in all, and the sound isn't as good as the graphics. Otherwise, an interesting and playable game.'

'I liked Krakatoa very much, and was therefore looking forward to this one. And at the start it doesn't disappoint either, with the effective 3D graphics and a level of control that has avoided the pitfalls of Mt Attack. There also seems a lot to do, but once you really get into it, All or Nothing reveals that it isn't as hot as it first seems. In the end all you are doing is running around, avoiding the guards and trying to collect objects from different buildings. The result, for me at any rate, is a very playable game which does require skill, but one that lacks something in the long term appeal. Good, but not great. '

COMMENTS
Control keys: user definable - a graphic of the Spectrum shows you the keys you may not select
Joystick: almost any via UDK
Keyboard play: responsive, although control takes some getting used to
Use of colour: average
Graphics: neat 3D although rather jerky scrolling
Sound: average
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 1 with percentage of damage
Screens: continuous scrolling
Special features: Currah Microspeech compatible
General Rating: Generally good, not perhaps as addictive as expected, but certainly has lots of content.

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Screenshot Text

3D graphics not unlike those in Ant Attack characterise the new Abbes game ALL OR NOTHING.

The patrolling guards are closing in - time to bribe, shoot or run...