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Silversoft Ltd
Dave B. Chapman
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Chris Bourne

He meets them on the ladders -
On platforms left and right;
His only hope 's to dig a trap,
They're much too mean to fight ...

Thus starts Silversoft's 'Panic' game of platforms, ladders and monsters with a penchant for falling into holes. There are the traditional five levels connected with various ladders and three monsters on the first screen. Depending on their colour, monsters need to fall through either one hole, two or three. Monsters which get out of a trap before Sam hits them on the head with his spade will become more durable by changing colour.

There are, of course, many variations on 'Panic' now, each with their own idiosyncrasies, some better than others. This version boasts quite large characters.


'There isn't much can be said about a 'Panic' game now that hasn't already been said. On the whole this one has large and smooth moving graphics. They are all four blocks large, but as they overwrite each other this results in the ladders vanishing to black where they pass, which lends a flickery aspect that looks quite amateurish. Another oddity is that there is only a single function key for dig and fill holes. It takes three presses to dig a hole or kill a monster, so as soon as the hole is dug it starts to fill again! This can be very frustrating in the heat of play. On the other hand, it does mean less keys to have to worry about. On the whole I thought this was a pretty weak version, especially for Silversoft'

'The colour used is fair and the graphics, although large, are only average. it's a reasonable arcade copy in most respects, there's the falling oxygen level to worry about, and as you get through a few screens, there are a lot of monsters to worry about as well.'

'Sam Spade is a typical "Panic" game with nice big graphics and this is a good version of a game which is rather old now. I would say it 's actually better than some and worse than others.'

Control keys: Z/X left/right, K/M up/down, L dig/fill/kill
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: sensible keys make life easy, responsive
Use of colour: fair to average
Graphics: average, although large
Sound: good tunes, otherwise average
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: 3
General Rating: An old-style game, generally average.