PIMAN WANDERS FROM THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW
HOW ARE the mighty fallen! The self-righteous Pi-man has returned from Hollywood where he clearly picked up some terrible habits from chain-smoking Groucho and has now become a skid row problem drinker The new Automata release, Pi-Eyed, for 48K Spectrum, is an arcade-style descent into the unsavoury depths of Pi-Land pubs.
Using the cursor keys or a Kempston joystick, you must steer the tipsy Pi-Man along the road, avoiding irate motorists, and get him into various noisy and messy hostelries like The Merry Corpse or The Gay Dog. You may also enter some of the other buildings on the Pi-Land main street, where you will receive encouraging or abusive messages.
Once inside a pub the Pi-Man must drink all the pints of beer on the bar before he can weave his unsteady way out to find another watering hole. You do not increase your score in this game - you start with a high score which is reduced progressively the more you drink. Points are also deducted if you annoy motorists, tread on packets of Rhino crisps or even more unpleasant substances, or disturb other pub patrons.
When the Pi-Man finally reaches rock bottom zero, his beer intake for the game is displayed; if the hangover is not too bad you can then totter back and start all over again. It is always opening time in Pi-Land.
Pi-Eyed continues the Automata tradition of bizarre, inventive games design and combines the usual garish graphics with a loopy setting and maddening music. The loading logo of two awful bloodshot eves is disturbing. The game is reasonably entertaining though the format is a repetitive after a time.