Intelligence, quick thinking and athletic ability are just some of the skills needed to prove yourself in The Krypton Factor. Based on the long-running Granada TV series, which has been putting suckers through their gruelling paces for a decade, this licence from Domark label TV Games throws up to four contestants into the ring.
The Krypton Factor consists of six rounds testing mental agility, observation, response, physical ability, intelligence and general knowledge; players can choose their 'characters' from among four men and four women before the first round (participants in the TV show are ordinary members of the public).
In the mental-agility round, a series of numbers appears briefly onscreen. The digits must be remembered and rearranged into ascending order. At first there are just six numbers to struggle with, but this can increase to a maximum of nine.
Next there's an observation round. Here a picture appears with a scrolling story line beneath; picture and words then disappear to be replaced with a subtly different alternative version. The contestant must identify the changes within a time limit.
In the two-part response round, contestants ' reactions and responses are tested on the Ergobuggy and Vidiwall. The first is a strange combination of rotatable pedals, some moved by the legs (as on a bike) and others by hand. The two sets of pedals must be rotated at different speeds to propel the buggy forward - it's a tricky test of coordination.
And the Vidiwall is a large square formed of many video screens, which randomly change colour. The player must decide in a split second which colour is shown on most screens, and then hit the key which represents that colour. The first contestant to do this correctly ten times wins the round.
Sheer physical ability is now tested on an assault course, where players can adjust their contestants ' stamina and strength in both legs and arms. Different obstacles, which include the net climb and a high wall, require different combinations of strength and stamina; in some you must rely on arms, in others on legs.
Next it's the turn of brainpower, as each contestant is challenged to piece together the parts of the Krypton Factor logo. Some of these pieces can be turned and fit within a grid; others can be removed from the grid and repositioned.
The last round tests the general knowledge of the contestants. Questions scroll across the screen, and in time-honoured quiz-show fashion the first player to press his key gets to answer. The correct answer is then revealed onscreen, and the game relies on players' honesty in admitting when they answered incorrectly.
'The mental test is the same every game, which destroys the point, and the response test is also soon mastered. The point of the 'TV show was that it put untrained people in demanding situations; as an unchanging computer game The Krypton Factor is quite silly, because results can be improved with practice.'
BYM ... 37%
'Not only does the Spectrum music sound nothing like The Art Of Noise on the TV show, but the game ranges from the appallingly bad Ergobuggy section to the astoundingly simple, though adequate. mental-agility round. It says something that the best section of the game involves putting half a dozen numbers into ascending sequence - I would only recommend The Krypton Factor to those who see themselves in the half-dozen preset personalities.'
MIKE ... 32%
: lacking detail, but not colourSound
: simple title tune, unimaginative effectsOptions
: choice of eight charismatic contestants; up to four playersGeneral Rating:
A simply constructed (but mentally demanding) repetitive quiz game.
It's a gas: The Krypton Factor