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Cheetahsoft Ltd
Mark C. Jones
1984
Arcade: Maze
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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109
Chris Bourne

To emphasise its 3Deeness. Bat Attack has the '3D' at the end of loading, seen lying flat on the 'ground' some way off in full perspective. The characters then come closer as you 'walk' towards them, rearing upright when you get close.

This is a three-dimensional game in which you are incarcerated in a tower with four floors. There is a lift between the floors and you can go to any one you wish, although each time you use the lift the bats which inhabit the floors of the tower will become more vicious.

The floors of the tower maze are lined with gold blocks which you must collect. You have no armament against the bat attacks, but at intervals on each floor there are cloves of garlic which may be eaten by running over them. This will give you immunity for 20 seconds only. It a bat attacks you after garlic has been eaten, it will stun but not kill the bat.

The corridors of the maze are drawn in perspective with green lines, uprights indicating the length of one step. The gold blocks on the floor are solid yellow rectangles, and the resulting scene resembles a modern open plan office with desks in straight lines and dividing partitions. Below the visual display there is a radar showing your position and that of the four bats. A map display of the maze, gold blocks and lift is also available at a key press.

On this large map you can see the bats flitting about quite well. Below the display there is a direction indication arrow. It you are hit by a blood sucking bat, a large crack appears over the screen and may take you by surprise if it came from behind. If it attacks from in front, you will see it approaching.

CRITICISM

'Movement of the maze is fairly slow, while the bats fly very quickly. Garlic is never to be found when you need it, and a map that is not co-ordinated with your key movements - that is, you move in one direction and your position marked on the map moves in a totally different direction - very contusing, if not frustrating. Graphics are large, detailed and approach you in a quite realistic way. The colour is also well used. Overall, a batty unaddictive game.'

'After following the usual screen messages t pressed any key to begin " (it wasn't the BREAK key) and the game crashed, leaving a mess on the screen. Said incident happened several times. I made a final attempt with the Kempston interface unplugged - and success! Surely if the game was tested fully such information could be included with the program. I thought Bat Attack was basically boring, dated and almost colourless 3D maze game. There were games like this about a year ago. Unless this type of game can be revitalised or improved upon, then the 3D maze game has had its day. Not a particularly inspiring or exciting version anyway.'

'Bat Attack instantly reminded me of Gilsoft's Maze of Gold. You had to collect gold bars in that one too, but without the hindrance of monsters chasing you. The graphics are greatly improved though over some of the earlier 3D maze games, and the map facility is excellently done. The sense of movement along the corridors works quite well, but I think the real drawback to the game's working really well is the bats. Wouldn't it have been better to provide a weapon for shooting them? The garlic is totally ungainable in a hurry unless you happen to be right on top of a clove of the stuff. What also confuses and slows reactions down is the system whereby you can move in any direction with the cursor keys, but to face in the direction you must use the cursors and CAPS SHIFT to turn. This means you can sail down a long corridor only seeing the side wall! In a panic situation this can be quite troublesome. I enjoyed Bat Attack, but I don't really think it offers quite enough playability or excitement in the long run to be addictive.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: cursors, CAPS and 0 to view maze
Joystick: ZX 2, Protek, AGF
Keyboard play: a little confusing at times, and no immediate response from the keys
Use of colour: fair to average
Graphics: average, reasonable 3D effects
Sound: poor
Skill levels: 11 with between 1 and 4 bats selectable
Lives: 3
Screens: 4
Originality: 3D maze games are hardly new - depends on how much one has to offer in new ideas...
General Rating: Our reviewers' opinions ranged from poor, to fair/average to above average, but felt that at almost £7 it was pricey for what it offered.

54%
55%
43%
63%
45%
48%
48%
51%

Screenshot Text

Gold blocks and garlic in Bat Attack. Remember - a clove a day keeps the bats away.