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Kevin J. Bezant
1984
Arcade: Action
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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11,12
Chris Bourne

Visions describe this game as a 'Video Nasty ' - a game which gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, meat and two veg. The meat in this case is Visions' dashing young hero Smiffy, who appeared in the computer complex of 1994. He is now enjoying a much quieter occupation - cultivating the soil. But in this garden the rows of cabbages move all over the place and it is infested with killer tomatoes (make sure they don' t ketch-up with you), psycho swedes (no xenophobia intended) and manic mushrooms (no reference to any other game intended). Scoring is done by awarding points for every weed pulled, completing a day's work and points are docked for treading on the cabbages.

The screen display is very uncluttered with no score lines or other info visible - this gives a large playing area, which takes the form of six rows of large cabbages by four rows across. Alternate lines move in opposing directions. Weeds, blue in colour, appear at random points and times, also moving along with the cabbages. The killer veg moves independently, but bounces off the cabbages. Between attack waves the display informs you of what to expect next.

Game instructions and objectives are well displayed on several sheets which can be called up from the menu.

CRITICISM

'This is a good game featuring some very high-quality graphics - very smooth. The game is both original and playable (a rare feature lately). I enjoyed it. especially as it had a fairly high degree of addictivity.'

'If gardeners/programmers imagine that tomatoes, mushrooms and swedes will turn savage one day then there's no hope for any of us! A highly original idea. There 's not much that can be said about this game, just that all the graphics are large, detailed, colourful and they move about the screen smoothly. After a while I found the game became tiring due to the way that the cabbages move about the screen with the other veg manoeuvring around them. You may find Killer Toms has a lasting appeal, but I thought that the novelty of the veg multiplying every so often not only daunting but boring. An original video nasty that won't grow on you!'

'The hero, Smiffy, is instantly identifiable as the hero of Visions' 1994 game, and it looks as though the same movement routine has been used. What worked in that game, works less well here, as Smiffy seems to gallop rather than potter (or whatever it is you do in gardens). The idea is original and well implemented with excellent graphics and good instructions, but once into the rhythm, it becomes quite easy to stay alive and score points. The tomatoes are the least intelligent killers, with the mushrooms being positively aggressive chasers. In later attack waves you get increasing numbers of killers and mixed veg varieties. Quite addictive, but perhaps the appeal won't last all too long.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: user-definable - requires four directional keys
Joystick: Almost any via UDK, plus ZX1 and ZX2 interfaces
Keyboard play: self-selected, very responsive
Use of colour: clear, but limited, nicely used in instructions
Graphics: very good, smooth and detailed
Sound: average
Skill levels: 10
Lives: 5
Originality: nothing else like it on the market
General Rating: With a range of skill levels and reasonable addictiveness, good value.

81%
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Screenshot Text

Smiffy gives up the computers for gardening - but is it a wise decision?