Berriliant! This isn't just one of my favourite Gremlin Games for ages, it's one of the best Spectrum games I've played for ages. T.Wrecks combines spectacular gigantic graphics with some quite astoundingly violent action in the best eat-'em-up this side of Rampage.
For what has to be the umpteenth time ever (well, the second) you get to play a Godzilla-like Tyrannosaurus Rex in a desperate bid to destroy, punch, tail-whip, eat and burn his/her way through all of the major cities of the world. The seaside, Nintendo Village (are the really allowed to use that?) and many more.
Destroying cities, however, is not a task to be sniffed at. I mean, you can't expect to just walk into the middle of a densely populated area and start pulling down any nearby buildings without a little hassle from residents, passing traffic and of course, the army. Running around on the pavements (or should that be 'sidewalks'? This game has a distinctly American flavour to it) are lots of little minions, all desperately trying to avoid your gigantic feet and save their homes at the same time. Cars and buses zoom up and down the busy highways and you'll find there's nothing more fun than bending over and smashing up a busload of people for NO REASON AT ALL!!!! All good family entertainment. Still, you are not without your problems. Tanks roll around underfoot continually bombard you with shell (until you jump on them that is), helicopters zoom about the skies, dropping bullets and bombs, all hazardous to your health. The whirlybirds can be despatched with quite easily, though, by simply jumping up and eating them. Yum yum.
Unlike Rampage, you have more than one way to smash up a joint. You have your regular option of climbing up the side of a building and punching out the windows. You have your even more devastating breath. No, not a bad case of halitosis, but a case of traditional dragonlike fire-breathing. Finally, as an extra bonus, you have your amazingly devastatingly destructive super weapon. Your tail. Just a quick flick on most buildings is enough to send them tumbling down.
Just check out the screenshots on this page, and you'll quickly spot the most outstanding feature of the game - the graphics. I don't think I going too far when I say they are among some of the best ever seen on the Spectrum.
Huge multi-storey buildings that span several screens in height, tiny little people that go 'splat' when you jump on them. Vehicles that crumble into piles of useless junk with one sweep of a fist, and lots more tiny, if bloody, details make this game a delight to watch, as well as to play.
The only thing that tops the graphics, though, is the animation of the central character. It's well over half the screen in height and depicted in two glorious shades of green, there isn't an inch of his huge scaly body that isn't animated when he walks. All the moves are smoothly and beautifully depicted - just watch him leap up onto a building...
Of course, while you're doing all this damage, you're getting a lot done to you, and this is registered as a damage bar, which gradually drops as you take more hits, until you die, King Kong-like - a giant green heap on the floor. You can boost your replenished energy by eating pedestrians or the occasional parachutist, don't eat the cars though as that has a very nasty effect on your health.
Sound, it must be said, is nothing special, though, just boings when you jump, things when a bomb is dropped, and bangs whenever you destroy something. The dinosaur stomp effect isn't too bad though...
Colour has been used to very good effect, in much the same way as Karnov i.e. putting a border around everything, though the border isn't really so obvious on this. There is very little noticeable colour clash, and this all adds to the look and feel of the game and brings the Speccy ever closer to true coin-op quality.
If you fancy a good beat-'em up of gigantic proportions, and you have a 128K machine (sorry, the size of the game means that there won't be any 48K version), then I can wholeheartedly recommend T-Wrecks. It's the one your Spectrum's been waiting for.
NOTE: HANG ON A SEC - THE GAME IS DUE IN A MONTH OR SO.
Author: Beam Software
Memory: 128K ONLY
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
Graphically fantastic Rampage-a-like. Odd stick sponse quirks. Otherwise flawless.
HINTS AND TIPS
The biggest buildings fall most easily with a tailwhip, so smash those skyscrapers.Catch the parachutists to replenish your firepower.Eat the people to top up your energy bar.Beware of those bombs. The bombs the helicopters drop are the deadliest thing in the game, so keep an eye out for them.The best way to avoid being shot, and probably the hottest tip here, is to keep to the rooftops. By running and jumping along the building roofs, you effectively avoid all the enemy.