1987
Arcade: Action
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Firebird BleepLoad

18
Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Richard Eddy
Chris Bourne

A career in the health service is much like any other, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. And as a nurse straight out of college and into your first hospital, life isn't going to be easy. All those howling babies screaming for food and water and milk and love and hugs and attention and nappy changes... it's enough to drive you round the twist!

You and your fellow trainees enter the hospital just as the last batch of students leave. They weren't very good... in fact they were really awful, the baby ward is in utter chaos. The little darlings have all clambered out of their cots and are roaming around willy nilly.

As you might expect, babies aren't the most responsible of creatures: they're horrible grimy pink things that make ghastly noises at the most ridiculous times at night, and they're very inquisitive. Plug sockets and mysterious boxes hold a fatal attraction for the little dears, and too much prodding and poking ends in a nasty shock for them - 240 volts to be precise.

The hospital wards are split into three levels, usually with a single cot on each floor, but occasionally slightly more densely populated. A counter on the status screen shows how many babies are on the loose. Starting in the shoes of Nurse Brenda Bumwipe, you chase after each one of the little horrors, pick them up in your caring arms and deposit them in their own little cots. But who wants to be cooped up in a horrid hospital cot? Not the babies that's for sure. Out they clamber and begin wandering again.

When you've finally collected up all the babies and replaced them in their cots, you can move on to the next ward. The wards rarely vary in layout, but as you proceed the baby population begins to grow, making it increasingly difficult to cope. It's just as well that you have three trainees to your credit, as there's no real job security in this hospital and too many lost babies results in early retirement for the offending nurse. If poor old Brenda gets the boot then Fiona Feedface steps in and takes over, her departure in turn makes room for the final trainee, Nina Nightnurse.

CRITICISM

'Mad Nurse won't keep any self-respecting games player happy for longer than a couple of goes - there just isn't enough variation in gameplay, and the intro bit at the start of every level is so monotonous. This reminds me of one of those hand-held game thingies so popular a few years back; the action consists of one task which gets progressively harder, and becomes progressively more tedious the longer that you play. Even the extremely sick nature of the plot doesn't appeal to me... which is quite unusual. I can't recommend this, even for the price it's unplayable triteness.' BEN

'I don't know what those folks at FIREBIRD see in this rubbish, every aspect of this game is dire. The graphics are full of attribute problems, the sound is extremely basic and there are no addictive elements at all. In fact one game was enough for me! Mad Nurse is also very sick - surely babies getting electrocuted and falling down lift shafts is only funny to a sick mind. Stick an ' 18 ' certificate on it. At least that would save most folks from buying it.' PAUL

'Mad Nurse is occasionally funny, it's also very pretty to look at but it becomes so dull. There's nothing to make you return to it after its been played once (well, that's not totally true, I did put it on twice just to have the pleasure of watching babies plummet to their deaths). The front end is also incredibly tedious and unnecessary; and there's no way of skipping through parts of it either. Mad Nurse is a disappointing release from FIREBIRD, it's simply a dull game covered up with a few neat graphics.' RICHARD

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q/A up/down, O/P left/right and M to stun gas
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2,
Use of colour: very good, but colour clash present
Graphics: well drawn, humorous and smooth
Sound: limited
Skill levels: one
General Rating: A game with little to offer, relying on its 'sick' overtones to succeed.

67%
55%
37%
21%
33%
31%

Screenshot Text

A nurse's work is never done - even ass one baby is saved, another is falling down the lift shat! Could this be General Hospital?