Reliable information from Robot Messiah's creators let me in on the fact that there are three stages to this game... unfortunately, intense investigation has only led to finding two stages - but what stages they are!
First sight of the game and it became apparent that Jet Set Willyand the Ultimate series of games were the major inspiration. But that's not such a bad thing, especially when you see what the programmers have done to improve the on-screen graphics. In true Ultimate-style, the nasties - a Prisoner-like bubble, flashing stars and blinking eyes - appear out of the ether and follow set patterns around the screen, hoping to drain your energy. You do have a weapon that can destroy the nasties, but don't bother trying to use it on the mad professor sprite - just run for your life!
You play the part of Sid, who looks like a character straight out of a pigeon-fanciers club - all cloth cap and the like. His task is to leap around the various platforms on-screen in search of three computer programs that he must carry back to a computer terminal. Sid is a splendid sprite, but the true joy is when he jumps - it is by far the best movement on-screen that's been seen yet on the Spectrum.
You can pick up various objects to help you with your mission, but only three can be held at any one time. Of the two stages seen - you travel between stage one and two in a car - both are similar in content - you leap around the gaily-patterned platforms, picking up food, searching for the computer programs and keeping a wary eye out for the nasties.
Play is easy - you can boot up Robot Messiah and have fun straight away. The storyline has been kept to a minimum and is largely irrelevant, which means you don't have to keep referring to the cassette inlay card every time you want to do something.
Overall, Robot Messiah is a great game - with colourful and clear graphics, superb on-screen movement and a goodly selection of caverns to map out.