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Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Unspecified custom loader

Other Links

Pete Connor
Chris Bourne

Koin-op kapers from Electric Dreams.

When you can literally breathe fire, you don't have an awful lot to fear. You can go off on and have fun safe in the knowledge that you're a match for anything that may come your way. Karnov's modest aim in life - or at least in this coin-op conversion - is to save the world, to do which he must defeat the evil wizard Ryu and regain the stolen treasure of Babylon.

To achieve this, Karnov must take part in what is basically a platform game with knobs on; rather than simply progressing sideways you can use objects to move in other directions. So, if you have the ladder, you can go up, and so on. This added dimension makes the game more interesting than it might otherwise have been.

Naturally, you are under constant assault from the hordes of baddies the wiz Ryu has left behind. These take some pretty wacky shapes; ostriches, goblins, statues. Breathing fire (diamond shaped bullets) at them will finish them off, but not always as easily as you might like.

While Karnov is graphically accomplished, and has a few new twists on the platform theme, it's pretty old hat stuff. Also, after the first level, gameplay can become very frustrating; some might say unplayably so.

Reviewer: Pete Connor

Spec, £9.99cs, Out Now
C64/128, £9.99cs, £4x.99dk, Imminent
Ams, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent
Atari STm £19.95dk, Sept

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 70/100
1 hour: 70/100
1 day: 65/100
1 week: 50/100
1 month: 35/100
1 year: 5/100

Fun gives way to frustration, which turns into boredom.


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Graphics really are very impressive indeed; large characters, smooth animation, no colour clash. The sound isn't quite as striking, but what do you expect from the Spectrum? Although it's based on a coin-op, nobody here has ever seen the original machine, so it's hard to comment on the faithfulness of the conversion - but as you'd expect with an arcade game, the Spectrum isn't the best of machines to see it on.

A major drawback tor many players will be the multi-load cassette; even after reaching level 2 you have to rewind and start back at the beginning. The tedium rapidly turns to raging frustration.

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Our hairless hero breathing his fire at assorted goblins.