Martech Games Ltd
1988
Arcade: Action
£8.99
£2.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

104
Tamara Howard
Chris Bourne

Phwoooaar! as the male members of the SU team have been dribbling for months. Vixen's arrived, and since the boize have been subjected to accelerated pulse rates and sweaty palms for months as the promo items came flooding into the office, I took it upon myself to write the review. Well, we don't want them keeling over from heart attacks now, do we?

The plot behind Vixen is dull in the extreme, as these things often are, and is a thinly disguised feminine version of the Tarzan story, swapping boy for girl and monkeys for foxes. Vixen, brought up in the jungles of Granath by the wiley foxes is the only thing close enough to a human being left on the planet, and so it's up to her to clear the place of the nasty mutant dinosaurs.

The nasty mutant dinosaurs (hereafter referred to as the NMDs, not to be confused with OMD who were a relatively successful band in the early 80s) can only be disposed of by a good whipping (if I hear one person go, 'fnar' there'll be trouble Douglas) and thus Vixen, dressed in an entirely impractical jungle bikini, is armed with a handy large whip.

So off she goes, joggin' along and she's whippin' the NMDs left right and centre. Some of them closely resemble Itsy and Bitsy; the spiders from that kids' TV programme yonks ago, some of them look like jelly fish with rheumatoid arthritis. Either way, whip 'em quick (some of them take more than one whip, so beware) and whip anything else which comes your way. Stones and funny gourd things will hide extra points, in the shape of gemstones which can be collected, a mega whip (DOUGLAS! be quiet at the back there) and fox time, which is represented by a fox head (peculiarly enough) and is thoroughly useful on the bonus round when you turn into a fox.

Ah. Not only was Vixen brought up by the wiley foxes, but she also has the ability to metamorphise into a fox herself and run around underground collecting extra gems for bonus points. Nice trick, I'm sure that I'd find it thoroughly useful whilst travelling on the Tube.

Gameplay throughout is fairly standard, what we have here is a horizontally scrolling whipping game with things to leap over, things to fall down and things not to bump into. Although with protuberances like Vixen's it's going to be hard...

The central figure is actually very well animated. The girlie trots along at a rather sedate jog, hair flapping nicely in the breeze, and she's got a good reach with her whip. This is all perfectly acceptable whilst she's above ground, but once she gets into the caves, well, it's another thing entirely. Crouching down, the poor girl has to walk like a large orangutan, knuckles dragging on the ground, until she reaches a spot suitable for a spot of metamorphasising. The change into the fox is done nicely, but once she's become the fox things deteriorate. It's a piddly little sprite (how Corinne managed to squeeze herself into that tiny little outfit I'll never know), and the running movement isn't very convincing. As for the jumping, my life, if looks as though the poor little mammal has been squashed by a JCB. You could wear it round your neck as a ruff.

Out you get from the caves, change back into Corinne, I mean Vixen, and off you go. Do the whole thing over again. Jungle, jungle, NMD, NMD, whip, whip, whip. Easy. And that's yer lot. Nothing else happens.

And it's a tad dull after about ten minutes. Superficially a very pretty game with some very nice animation (loadsa digitised pieces of Corinne running around studion in Holborn, so we're told), but the gameplay is too similar to other, better games on the market. I cite Thundercats and rest my case. It's a shame really, because had there been a little more variety within the gameplay. Vixen would have gone down in my book as a top-notch game. Perhaps a tad less Bimbo and a touch more gameplay next time chaps - still worth a look, if you like girlies in bikinis with large whips fnar, titter, barf etc...

Label: Martech
Author: McArdle/Richards
Price: £8.99/£14.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: Kempston/Sinclair
Reviewer: Tamara Howard

Well animated whipping game, although the gameplay is lacking. Still, worth a look.

7/10