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Automata UK Ltd
Stephen N. Curtis
1983
Arcade: Platform
£6.00
English
ZX Spectrum 16K
None

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43
Chris Bourne

Automata aren't exactly noted for bringing out many arcade games, preferring their obscurantist misadventures like Pimania and Groucho. So it's really thrilling to get a zappo game from them - mind you, you can't get away from the PiMan that easily because he's the owner of Morris of the title. And as an added bonus, in answer to those record companies who keep boring us with their computer programs on the flip sides of hit records..

Automata gives you, absolutely free, a tasteful rendition of Leader of the Pac by the incredible Lady Sinclive and the PIMen. If you're into biker songs and butchery then you'll love this hit single (say no more!)

Morris has been abandoned in a multi-storey car park and he's desperate to get out (he gets claustrophobia). Your task as Morris is to drive around the car park collecting coins (you need ten) to feed into the slot on the closed barrier. Unfortunately the Phaantom, Phreaky, Phearsome kamikaze bikers from the planet of Morris Minor are loose in the car park and running into them causes severe loss of life (yours, of course). Additional hazards are walls, tyre clamps, carbon monoxide fumes, tin tacks and huge parking fees. All this drama is played out against a background of falling fuel supply and the hard concrete of an uncaring carpark. The only way between multi-story levels is to use the rather unreliable lifts at either side.

Should you be clever enough to collect sufficient coins you may leave the car park by the exit at the bottom right of screen which promptly dumps you in another car park. There are nine in all. You do have one weapon at least - a magic horn which zaps the bikers.

CRITICISM

'Good packaging with clear and concise instructions leads you into this unique and very playable game. The hazards are everywhere, from tin tacks to fumes which knock you out for five to ten seconds. The lifts looked as though they had seen better days! Morris has a nice use of colour with good, detailed graphics, although there wasn't much use of sound, just the horn tooting and end of screen bleeping. Each screen is harder than the last.'

'Automata are trying to cash in on their much talked about Pimania by putting the PiMan into a Moggy (Morris Minor car). The graphics are good and the game is fast moving. Control keys are user-defined, which is always useful. The Leader of the Pac single on the other side is rather odd to say the least - even distasteful.

'Lurching over the tin tacks, suffocating with car fumes, avoiding mad bikers from a bygone age and paying exorbitant parking fees, it almost sounds like real life! However, I think losing a life for illegal exits from a car park is a bit tough! Great graphics with a nice chunky look to them. This is definitely an original game and it can all be enjoyed with the volume full up on your cassette player as Leader of the Pac blares out!'

COMMENTS
Keyboard positions: user-defined five keys
Joystick options: Kempston, although AGF and Protek with user-defined keys possible
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: average
Graphics: good
Sound: good
Skill levels: gets harder with each screen
Screens: nine
Lives: four
General Rating: Good.

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Screenshot Text

MORRIS MEETS THE BIKERS in the largest N.C.P. in the world.