Ocean Software Ltd
1988
Arcade: Adventure
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

164
Bym Welthy, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Evil has swamped the Phantom Club, and all the members bar one have succumbed to the dreadful overlord Zarg. Plutus is the sole member of this exclusive group who is still a good boy - and to defeat the repulsive Zarg, Plutus must work his way up through the ranks of the Phantom Club, exploring the club's huge headquarters to build up his power.

But as Plutus roams through the 550-odd rooms, his former friends will use their powers to be as mischievous as possible. Some have taken the forms of monks, others are man spiders, and Plutus may need to spend several shots on them.

And the members of the Phantom Club are not the only hazards: some inanimate objects also drain our champion's energy, and to avoid them Plutus must use his athletic ability to the full.

A psychic bolt from Plutus's forehead will devastate anyone or anything that gets in his way. But it too uses energy.

Some rooms contain screens which tell you how to escape and get to the next level. Most of these require Plutus to shoot a particular object or character, such as Psi- Man, who has the power to block room exits. Psi-Man's power can only be overcome by destroying his astral projection, which takes the form of a bird.

Useful features can be acquired by touching the floating sphere (an extra life), the floating diamond (extra speed) and the spinning sphere (a large bonus score).

Yugoslavian programmer Dusko Dimitrijevic first came to fame with Imagine's M.O.V.I.E. (93% Overall in Issue 26), an arcade adventure set in New York's gangster world and presented in a similar 3-D style to Phantom Club.

CRITICISM

'Games like this have been coming off the production lines for three years, ever since Knight Lore. I'm bored with them. In Phantom Club just the choice of colours is enough to turn your stomach, and as for Plutus, the poor bloke can't do more than one thing at a time (even walking and turning corners simultaneously seems to be too much for him). The difficulties of manoeuvrability, combined with the endless chambers, make Phantom Club an infuriating and lengthy game' BYM ... 62%

'Phantom Club is just like M.O.V.I.E.. That was the first full-price game I ever bought, but because I couldn't get very far it soon lost its appeal. And the same goes for Phantom Club. The 3-D graphics are confusing because so much detail has been crammed in, and the colour is a bit too bright. The nasties just get in the way without doing anything much apart from making a sword at the bottom of the screen (representing Plutus's strength) a bit shorter. Phantom Club Is presented well, but hotels nothing new or exciting' NICK ... 56%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: monochromatic forced-perspective 3-D
Sound: spot effects
General Rating: A disappointing 3-D cliche from the great programmer of M.O.V.I.E.

60%
63%
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55%