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Games Machine Ltd
Russell Vincent
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Barreldrop lakes its name from what might be called the chorus line of this game. The two heroes are Gordon and Flash but there's no Ming in this epic! Gordon has blocked drainpipes, five of them in fact, and he's discovered a rather novel way of clearing them. He stands on the roof with five barrels, rolls them down the incline and tries to get them to fall down the blocked pipes. How on earth this is supposed to clear them, goodness knows!

However, it seems to do the trick. Unfortunately if he doesn't get the barrel exactly down the centre of a pipe it gets lost. Successful rolls are returned to him for another go. This is where Flash comes in. He's a dog who appears round the corner - sometimes. If he's visible and Gordon misplaces a barrel Flash will rescue it and return it up the ladder to him. Successfully clearing a screen results in another event, sometimes a riddle sometimes an arcade episode like getting Gordon safely across a floor in which some of the tiles are electrified.

If you manage this, it's back to the chorus line again and more barrels to roll, more drains to be cleared.


'I thought Barreldrop was a bit simple and boring - that was before a glass of Smirnov. The inlay only tells you that there's a surprise in store it you get five drains cleared. I was presented with a riddle which asked: What is a fourth defining measurement, an entity which never dies, but sees the end of all things? After a glass of Smirnov I realised I knew the answer (I was right too) and the next lot of drains seemed harder to clear (not just the drink!) because it's quite easy to mistime it, and damned Flash seems to appear less and less often. In fact Barreldrop is not simple and has enough bits and pieces to prevent boredom from setting in at all.'

'It's quite an original idea. a sort of games compendium in which nothing is exactly difficult, but there's so much of it you'll never get through. Having cleared the first screen I was asked to shoot down ten aliens with five lives in a sort of galaxian game. Neat graphics throughout. I cleared another barreldrop screen and had to walk Gordon over an electrified floor - he fried. I died. Only one life seems a little unfair. Fun though.'

'Good graphics, plentiful sound, loads of action. It should be a winner. I must say that I enjoyed it, but the fact that there isn't a concentrated effort on one subject may spoil the fun for the hardened arcade addict. Nevertheless, good value, fun, and a wide age group appeal.'

Keyboard positions: vary between sections, but generally sensible
Joystick options: none
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: very good, all colours used
Graphics: detailed, reasonably smooth
Sound: good
Screens: many
Lives: 1
General Rating: good value, perhaps low on addictivity


Screenshot Text

'Where's the damned dog?'