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Virgin Games Ltd
Keith Mitchell
1983
Arcade: Action
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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100
Chris Bourne

Robber is subtitled, 'A 3-pan criminal escapade to warn you off a lifetime of crime!' According to one of our reviewers they should have warned you off Robber. In many respects this game is a good sketch for a much better presentation at a later date.

THIS IS WHAT YOU DO
There are really three screens in this game, although the second contains four different sections. The first screen depicts a large room with two L-shaped cupboards in it. You're at the bottom right, a chess pawn shaped thing. In the two cupboards are a door key and a stethoscope. A third and vital object is the hidden safe key (why a stethoscope?) This safe key only becomes momentarily visible in the beam .from the guard's torch. He's at the right of screen, moving erratically up and down. If you get caught in the beam you're nicked.

Having collected the three objects you proceed to the second screen, a two-part collapsing and reappearing bridge, which you must cross without falling to your death on the spikes below.

Once across, the third screen presents you with a simple maze; first section under water, infested with poisonous jelly fish (watch the falling oxygen rating), second part through a dark room where you can't see the path of the maze, and infested with man-eating birds; third part a narrow corridor with deadly bouncing balls; and lastly a maze which disappears as soon as you see it, so it must be memorised. The whole thing takes places against a timer on the safe which shuts off the whole complex, trapping you if you're not quick enough.

GENERAL
The instructions on the inlay say Z/A for up/down and Q/W for left/right. They're wrong. It's actually Z/X for left/right and K/M for up/down. Objects are collected by moving onto them. One of the reviewers noted a serious problem, not so much of crashing the program as terminally freezing it. Twice in a row it froze on hitting the Z key and had to be reloaded

CRITICISM

'Overall the graphics are very basic looking, though adequate for the idea, but they move at a very BASIC speed. In fact it's such a slow process that the game becomes frustrating and not in a good way.'

'An awful lot depends on luck rather than any playing skill. The collapsing bridge is very random, and the jelly fish just pop up and then disappear again, so its luck that gets you through. Neither jelly fish nor man-eating birds pose any real danger in the sense that they go for you..

'The response to pressing a key is so slow that skill plays very little part in this game. I thought the graphics were primitive and there was no sound to speak of. Surely more could have been done with 48K than this?' Although you only get one life in the first screen, once into the second and third there seems to be no limit, you can go on and on.'

COMMENTS
Keyboard positions: sensible
Joystick options: none
Keyboard play: very slow
Use of colour: average
Graphics: fair
Sound: hardly any
General Rating: Poor.

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