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Silversoft Ltd
Stanley Cartwright
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Just lately there seems to have been something of a 'looking back' at basic ideas in arcade type games, most notably from Silversoft with titles like Hyperaction, Super Mutt and now Trouble Brewin'. Silversoft seem to be taking care to incorporate varied elements of traditional games into new ones with the experience gained over two years of what makes a game addictive to play.

Trouble Brewin' is basically a platform type game where you guide your man through several screens, collecting a number of objects on each screen whilst avoiding the nestles which include animated corkscrews, apples, 'pimen', slugs and others. The screens incorporate both main elements of platform games, the use of ladders and the function of jumping. So on one screen it may be ladders that are the main feature, whereas on another it might just be jumping from a small platform to an even smaller platform. Part of the attraction of such games is the fun of seeing what 's coming next, how to get through the various hazards, and in the case of Trouble Brewin', what the slightly different objectives in each screen are.

As the title suggests, the action is taking place in a brewery, and indeed, on one screen there is even the alchohol vat to be seen, getting hotter as you watch it. The objective here is to control the temperature by keeping all the windows shut, whilst avoiding the nasties which are constantly opening them.


'This game requires a good combination of skills in judgement and timing. I found that each screen required a very high degree of skill and luck. Screen layout is attractive aria very colourful - well finished. The graphics, of course, are smooth and cheerful, and they work very well. Each screen is different, in fact a different game in itself. But it is basically a platform game with quite a few other elements thrown in. The keyboard is well positioned and is highly responsive. Trouble Brewin' is difficult but highly playable and has all the features required of an addictive game. '

'It must be hard to ring the changes within the basic format of a type of game, but Silversoft have managed veil, nicely with Trouble Brewin, providing the right sort of difficulty so that timing and jumping skills have to be good. The five screens are very lively to look at, and they make you want to get on to the next. Smooth graphics, with plenty of animation add to the fun of what is a very addictive game.

'I thought Trouble Brewin' was a jolly game to play, reasonably addictive without being anything major. In other words, very fine but not amazingly exciting. It does have a wide range of graphics, which are well drawn and animated, and everything is certainly very colourful - which helps. Perhaps I'm a bit tired of the jumping platform game, and I don't think Trouble Brewin' has anything very new to say. Which isn't to say that it is poor value - there's plenty of content and the difficulty factor is quite high. Try it and see.'

Control keys: Q/A up/down, N/M left /right, 2 - 5 to jump
Joystick: unstated on preview copy, presumed to be Kempston, Cursor and Sinclair
Keyboard play: good positions and very responsive, good jumping action
Use of colour: very good - bright
Graphics: smooth, fast, well animated and large
Sound: above average
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 6
Screens: 5
Special features:
General Rating: A very good and addictive game made by combining traditional elements well.


Screenshot Text

The five screens from Trouble Brewin'.