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David Whittaker
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Jon Pillar
Chris Bourne

Hello? Hellooo? Ah, there you are. Sorry, couldn't see you. We are in the shadow of the Beast, after all. Boom boom! Ahem. Beast is, as you may have already known, a conversion of the ancient 16-bit platform beat-'em-up. The plot behind it is particularly silly, with you playing the part of a Beastly minion who finds out that his boss knocked off his parents. Such behaviour is regarded as unsporting in Beastly circles, so you pull up your trousers in a threatening manner and plod off to do the decent thing.

As any student of gamesplaying will tell you, doing the decent thing involves thumping a lot of bad guys and searching a lot of scenery, before confronting Mr Beastie himself for the final showdown.

Beast is a monster of a game. No hang on, I didn't say that. (Oh damn.) It is a big game though, with four sides of multiloads to get through. The presentation is splendid, with highly-detailed graphics. The trouble is, the game is, well, how can I put this... dull. Quite amazingly dull in fact. Duller than an Open University lecturer dressed in unpolished armour and holding a bucket of outstandingly dull ditchwater. Although you're pitted against the slithering hordes of chaos (or whatever), there are actually huge areas of empty scenery to run through in order to reach them.

The beat-'em-up bits aren't particularly good (a simple case of punch or dodge), and having to stroll through seemingly endless forests and caverns finishes off what's left of the game's interest. There's some business with keys and objects, but to be honest I couldn't be bothered to stick with it. Yawnsome through and through. Nice box though.


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Having eaten the members of Wet Wet Wet, Russell went on to become the hero for a new generation.

Sadly, Simon couldn't continue his mystical quest. Somehow the sole of his left foot had become stuck to a tree trunk, and as Lily had said, this made further progress tricky.