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Ocean Software Ltd
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links

Rich Pelley
Chris Bourne

The first thing you need to know about Total Recall is that it's not 48K compatible, so now could be the time to cast aside your faithful rubber-keyed friend and replace him with one of those new, hot-off-the-press 128K super-computers. Not only will your friends be impressed beyond belief, but you'll also be able to load up this, one of dear old Ocean's finer film tie-ins.

Needless to say, the instant the programmers were told that they had to write a film tie-in, they rushed home and wrote a game where you're a little man who has to run around shooting things. It's not a straight shoot-'em-up, mind you, as a puzzle element has been introduced as well in the form of switches - certain switches have to be pulled as you progress to remove barriers, initiate platforms etc to open up new parts of the map. To tell the truth, it reminds me of the Dan Dare series of games more than anything - but where they were fast, colourful and action-packed, Total Recall seems a little slow, monochrome and dull in comparison. Progressing through the game merely consists of commiting the map and order of switch-pulling to memory as, providing, you don't time things embarrassingly wrong, you should be able to jump all the traps and kill all the baddies with hardly a scratch. Personally, I prefer my games to have a little more excitement and unpredictability to them but what the heck, it's still quite good fun.

This then is the basic idea behind Levels One, Three and Five. They've got different graphics, but exactly the same sort of gameplay. Levels Two and Four provide a small break in the form of a sideways-scrolling car chase/shoot, but it's nothing special (in fact, it's rather crap). So then. (So then indeed. Ed) What have we got? A neat little plaftormy shoot-'em-up (with an unpleasant driving bit in between levels), that's what. Why not, eh?


Screenshot Text

Now remember Alison, before you pull out, check the rear-view mirror and switch on the indicators. Now engage warp drive and activate the plasma cannon.

That steely eye! That disregard for danger! Arnie is a tough old bird and no mistake. Oh hang on, he's not a bird at all, is he? He's an Astrian. Silly me.