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Mastertronic Ltd
1986
Arcade: Maze
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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20,21
Chris Bourne

Storm the warrior is your actual everyday superhero. Bold, tearless, heroic righter of wrongs, and he even remembers to put his Y-fronts inside his trousers! But, while he was off doing daring deeds, some bloke by the unlikely title of Una Cum has made off with his old lady and locked her in his lair.

Storm is a bit put out by all this, and pausing only to enlist the aid of the equally oddly named Agravian the Undead, he legs it over to Una's place to free his beloved.

To free Corrine, three snake brooches have to be collected. The action is viewed from above, and each location is a mini-maze. As the hero (or heroes if the game is being played in two-player mode) leaves the current location, the next room flips into view. A scrolling message below the status area describes the location and lets the player(s) know if a character's strength is getting dangerously low.

As soon as a room is entered the baddies come swarming at the rescue party and contact with them, like magic use, gradually saps a character's strength rating as shown on a counter at the top of the screen, Individual baddies can be zapped with magic, while scarce scrolls, masks and amulets which have to be collected zap all the baddies in a location. If possible, the generators that produced the evil minions should be destroyed to stem the flood of pasties.

Various items can be collected in the dungeon, including foodstuffs to boost flagging energy meters, extra scrolls and amulets, and armour. Two player mode gives twice the fire power, but then strength replenishing objects have to be shared out between the two characters.

Cabbalas are very useful, and change the layout of walls in a location, opening up a previously inaccessible pan of the room, or possibly blocking the exit...

CRITICISM

'As budget titles go, Storm is a passable effort. If it hadn't been for the rather blocky characters and the poor playability, it would have done better. The way screens can be cleared and made safe gives a good sense of progress, and the playing area is pretty vast. With just a little bit more work this game could have been much better... as it is, Storm isn't very compelling.'

'Boring, boring, boring. As you can tell I absolutely loved this game. I have never much liked playing this sort of birds-eye-view, run-around-the-screens shoot'em ups and this game does nothing but justify my convictions. The graphics are slow and jerky and the characters are, how can I put it, mind numbingly boring. The control method is awkward, and takes a lot of getting used to before you can get out of tricky situations quickly. The only nice thing I can say, is that the colour is not bad at all'

'There seems to be a trend towards the mystical 'collect the treasure and dodge the dragons' type games at the moment, which is all well and jolly good fun. Storm isn't the best. The graphics on the whole are ugly, the characters are chunky but colourful and fast moving and the playing area is a bit drab. The sound also leaves a lot to be desired: what there is of it isn't really worth listening to. The two player mode is probably the best option the game has, but it takes a little practice not to get in each other's way. My main moan is that controlling your man is very difficult, so it is hard to nip out of trouble or go through doors. I can't really recommend this game as it contains very little worth experiencing.'

COMMENTS
Control keys
Joystick: none
Keyboard play: a little tricky, but responsive
Use of colour: colourful and attractive
Graphics: unremarkable - indistinct with minimal animation
Sound: no tune, raspy effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: 48
General Rating: A budget Gauntlet variant that doesn't quite come off.

45%
38%
39%
45%
48%
58%
44%

Screenshot Text

Cameron's playing STORM on his own, so he's in control of Agravian Undead, the wizard. The wiz is in the bottom right of the screen, fighting off a marauding guardian.