Atlantis Gold
Not Known
1985
Arcade: Platform
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

37
Chris Bourne

This is the Atlantis contribution to the anti-smoking campaign, not perhaps as revolutionary as banning smoking on the London Underground but it is just as frustrating. The first page of the program reproduces the Government health warning together with some spiel asking if the player was sincere in wanting to banish smoking from the face of the Earth. Replying 'N' results in nothing.

Before you can start the actual game you will be given a test to determine if you are the sort of person who could bear up while under the sort of pressure experienced by antismoking agents across the world. The literature explains that the first game is to test the player's 'strength of character and determination to stamp out the evil weed ' .

The game involves guiding a little man up and down the screen. There are five on each side of him, with the aid of watering cans he has to put out six cigarettes periodically returning to the bottom to refill with water. A little chap in red, the fiery devil, is dashing around like a lunatic re-lighting them, seemingly faster than the player can put them out. Should one of the cigarettes burn down then you have failed the test and will have to take a re-sit.

Should you make it past the first game then you will allowed out on your mission; to shut down the cigarette plant. First you must guide your man into the plant and through each of the departments.

As you make your way you will have to avoid obstacles such as a cascade of cigarettes, water traps and revolving doors. On your journey you will be required to find the numerous switches that will eventually shut the plant down. As you discover each switch and turn it off the entrance to the next screen will be revealed.

Each new stage of the game presents you with different obstacles, the switches become harder to find let alone get to. There is a little chap who will be trying to stop you in your endeavours, the factory manager, if you succeed he will lose his job so it's in his interests to interfere with you as much as he can. When the plant is closed down then you will have succeeded in your mission.

Should you use up your five lives you will be awarded a score, this is given as a percentage and depends on the degree of damage inflicted.

CRITICISM

'This game is meant to encourage you to stop smoking, if you want to stop smoking then this is not the game for you. The first screen makes you so tense and frustrated that you will probably smoke a couple of packets. The factory is occupied by mutant cigarettes (a well known brand). I 'm sure they plan to roll all over you as you are on the ramp. They constantly get closer together blocking your path to the switch. The game goes on like this getting increasingly difficult. The graphics on Nicotine Nightmare are pretty basic but sufficient to give it quite an attractive appearance although they move fairly blockily. This is a very simple idea but I don't know whether it's such a good idea to sell this game to children, after all cigarettes should be associated with over 16s. Saying this, it is still fun to play if slightly frustrating on the first few screens. An unusual game.'

'Generally a fun game but it may have limited appeal. The first test is very difficult and soon becomes an annoyance. The main game has some nice action and original ideas but nothing about the game is stunning. I am satisfied that Nicotine Nightmare is able to offer plenty of entertainment so for the price it could be worth mentioning'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q/A up/down M/N left/right SPACE to jump
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: M/N keys the wrong way round otherwise responds well
Use of colour: effective
Graphics: effective but basic
Sound: nothing adventurous here
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 5 in main game
Screens: scrolling screens
General Rating: Not a shattering game by any means but great fun to play, once you've mastered it.

70%
71%
78%
84%
62%
88%
78%

Screenshot Text

Giving up the weed may be a nightmare but playing computer games can seriously damage your health.