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1984
Arcade: Action
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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14
Chris Bourne

There are quite a few precedents for Ugh! First off, Ugh is a caveman - and we know there were a few of those about. Then there was the funny story of everyday cave life by an American radio comedian (Bob Newhart?) about how interesting a caveman's life was, living inside rocks, sitting on rocks, throwing rocks, eating rocks... Then CRL produced Caveman, which was all about stealinng pterodactyl eggs, then Softek brought Ugh! out on the Dragon. Ugh also goes about stealing eggs from a pterodactyl, only now he does it in colour on the Spectrum.

The screen layout is fairly simple. At the bottom left is Ugh's cave and at the top left is the pterodactyl's nest. Between the two locations a wide path zig-zags upwards. Another path makes lazier zig-zags over to the right and there are some dead ends leading off this configuration. Ugh must make his way from the cave up to the nest, steal an egg and return to his cave with it. Then he can go back for another egg. On his way up he is provided with a spear but has to abandon it to carry an egg. Fortunately life provides him with another once he returns to the cave and deposits an egg.

A spear is lost once it is thrown at one of the pot-bellied tyrannosaurus which shamble amiably along the paths in a random pattern. Once speared, the prehistoric reptilian retreats to the furthest edge of the screen before setting off again. Ugh' s other problem is the understandably distressed pterodactyl which flies above the terrain at the top of the screen, dropping - yes, you've got it - rocks. Bumping into a tyrannosaurus or getting hit by a rock causes instant death to Ugh, but he has three other relatives all called Ugh to take his place. With each screen cleared, there's a bit more to dodge.

CRITICISM

'The first thing to strike you about Ugh! is the title screen which is similar to the cover (full of nice cute little things). Once loaded, you are greeted by a catchy tune, then you have to sift through the various skill levels. All the graphics and sound are very good but my main grumble is the difficulty of moving your adorable caveman. This problem wins the game which is otherwise well thought out and produced. If you forget its one fault, Ugh! is quite fun and I feel it could be a hit with a few adjustments.

'An attempt to produce a sort of 3D game here - quite unsuccessful though. It's difficult to move your man which makes the game hard to play. The screen layout is quite nice, particularly the way that the score and lives are set into a block of stone - very convincing. Colour and graphics are above average although there seems to be a slight lack of colour. In the end I don't think there 's very much to Ugh!and it soon becomes uninteresting.'

'This is a very original idea, but tends to fall down in the actual working. It can get repetitive and boring when you have collected some eggs. Moving is not easy due to the screen design, the bends in the zigzags are deep and you have to move your man to the furthest comer before he can change direction. The graphics are very good but I thought the colour could be better used, as, unlike the title screen, all the characters are just outlines on the basic colour ground. Above average, but lacking lasting appeal.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: user definable, four needed for direction and one for throwing spear
Joystick: almost any via UDK
Keyboard play: good, but limited
Use of colour: good, large, well animated and smooth
Graphics: good tunes (one reviewer even refers to it as music!), but poor during the game itself
Sound: 5
Skill levels: 4
Lives: 5 different paths
Originality: obviously Ugh! scores quite well
General Rating: Above average, original but lacking addictivity.

68%
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61%

Screenshot Text

Zig-zag your way up to the pterodacty's next and steal the eggs.