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1990
Arcade: Action
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

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11
Jon Pillar
Chris Bourne

Hurrah! It's Hanna-Barbera licence time again, and another opportunity to display my encyclopaedic knowledge of their cartoon. (Hurrah. Ed) One of the lesser H-B characters, AA was an, erm, ant who had super powers and fought baddies like larcenous robots and incredibly strong fleas. He was a bit of a non-starter really - the joke of the tough insect ran thin terribly quickly, and with his atomic muscles Atom usually finished off a foe without any hassle, limiting the cartoons somewhat. And the gags were rather bad as well. So much for Atom's credentials then. Onto the game.

By golly, it's quite an original thang too. The plot's not much cop (mad bomber terrorises city, only Atom can save the day) and the game's basically a collect-'em-up (you take the bombs to the top of a building to be defused) but the vertical scrolling turns the whole thing on its head a la Captain Dynamo (and Atom Ant came out first, fact fans).

Atom's got intertia as well, so chucking him around the place at top speed doesn't really work. You have to hop from ledge to ledge, waiting for the baddies to pass, then zoom up to the next section. (Actually, it is possible to crash about at high speed successfully, but you need the reflexes of a nervous gazelle on happy sweets.) Glitch-free and smartly detailed graphics can't really disguise the essential sameness of the gameplay but for a while at least, it's extremely good fun.

70%

Screenshot Text

Into the ether! With a mighty spring and a mild expletive, Atom launches himself into the air. Meanwhile over on page forty-two, we have a competition. (Oh dear. Ed)

The sensuous wiggle. Those pouting lips. No wonder Atom is the darling of the super-model set.

'Up and atom, Atom Ant' is, in fact, the worst Hanna-Barbera catchphrase of all. It's official and everything.