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1986
Arcade: Platform
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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24,25
Chris Bourne

The moral of this tale is a simple one. Never fall asleep in the cinema after a hard day's graft, especially if the film you are watching happens to be about fearsome fanged monsters and long legged beasties. If you do you may never wake up...

After a day's digging, there's nothing Jasper the gravedigger enjoys more than a scary film. One evening while, watching The Dream of a Thousand Vampires, he drifts off into an uncomfortable sleep and has a curious dream. Somehow he has been transported into the film he was watching and has taken over the starring role. Now it is up to him to defeat the Vampire Master.

Vampires are pretty indestructible creatures. Their one weakness is a dislike of anything religious and the sight of a Cross is enough to get them shaking in their coffins. Jasper must collect as many crosses as he can if he is to stand any chance of defeating the Master of evil. The Master is not the only danger in the game. Each screen is filled with an array of monsters, from scuttling spiders to slithering snakes. Jasper loses a life every time he touches a monster at least he has nine lives in his dream!

The locations are booby trapped ten ton weights drop from the ceiling to squash Jasper, and false floors send him crashing to his death on the ground below. Each screen must be cleared of crosses before Jasper can move on the next one. Careful timing is essential as some of the crosses turn into blazing effigies of evil and it Jasper tries to collect a fiery cross he looses a life.

Before the final confrontation, Jasper has to work his way through a range of strange locations from his Club to The Sinking of the SS Titantic. The Master must be confronted five times before he is destroyed, and takes on a different character each time round the game.

A status area at the top of the screen indicates Jasper' progress, and as the sun gradually sets and the new moon rises you know that time is running out for the little Gravedigger. This'll be the last time he watches any late honor movies for a long while,...

CRITICISM

'This game is absolutely appalling. The graphics are very bad and slowly animated, and game is nigh on impossible to play. The instructions at the beginning use a re-defined character set which is very hard to read even on the most well tuned T.V. and the music is very dreary. The Master looks like a very poor copy of Chiller which was pretty terrible anyway. I really couldn't see any good points to the game - stick to the T.V. series'

'Nothing about this game appeals to me. It is so infuriating that after only one go I'd had enough. Lack of speed and poor control are the two things which really bring it down. The graphics are not what I'd call good, but they are adequate; the characters flicker slightly and none of them are really detailed: the backgrounds am a little over-coloured but them is very little colour clash. The sound is poor - if you listen carefully you may hear a spot effect during the game and there is a tunette on the title screen. Generally I wouldn't recommend this one as it offers almost no playability or addictive qualities'

'What can I say? Nothing even vaguely complimentary, that's for sure. The Master is one of those awful games that really annoy me, because it's been so badly written. The graphics are grotty, the collision detection inaccurate, and the music on the title screen: arggghh! The Master very definitely looks as if it has been rushed, as a few more alterations could have got Artic a nice game. As it is though... Ugh!'

COMMENTS
Control keys: X left, C right, top row to fire, 2nd row to jump, ENTER to start
Joystick: Kempston, AGF
Keyboard play: adequate
Use of colour: bright
Graphics: crude; poorly animated
Sound: dreary title tune and tiny spot effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: 9
General Rating: The low price doesn't make up for the poor game.

34%
39%
26%
49%
23%
27%
30%

Screenshot Text

Jasper - the skeletal figure at the top of the screen - negotiates another set of fiendsih traps and tries to avoid the nasties on the way to vanquish THE MASTER.