Softstone Ltd
1984
Puzzle
£4.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

13,14
Chris Bourne

Perfection entered the games software business with a flourish and their game Odyssey 1, which won a programming prize. Turtle Timewarp is their fourth program, set in a world disrupted by thermonuclear destruction. The last humanoids have gone leaving behind turtles which have not suffered mutation like all other creatures because of some unstated alien intervention. As the biggest and strongest turtle you must go around collecting smaller turtles and carry them off to the dubious safety of houses left behind by humans. Using the timewarp gate provided by the aliens, you must go from land to land collecting all the turtles.

In this doom-laden 'Day After' world, all the mutated creatures fancy a bity of turtle and your only hope is to drop a stun bomb in a mutation's path. This leaves it safe to cross over it for a short period, but there's only one stun bomb allowed on screen at any one time. Extra bombs may be obtained from the lair which appears at the centre of the screen from time to time.

The screen takes the form of a simple maze with several dead ends. Tucked into the dead ends are large sized question marks, eight in all. At first you are chased by two mutations, but the question marks may be small turtles or they may be more mutations which will give chase after two seconds. If it's a turtle it will climb on your back and a humanoid house will appear somewhere on the screen.

You must deposit the small turtle safely and then go for another. When five have been rescued the timewarp gates will appear in the centre of the screen and you may move to another land where there will be more mutated creatures to chase you - of course! The maze forms are different on different screens.

CRITICISM

'Yet another original game with a great idea. The screen layout is quite good although the graphics range from fair to good. Colour could be better used. Teams of mutations tend to gang up on you giving no chance to get away - this does tend to make a fairly simple game into one much more difficult. The timewarp gates rotate very well. The sound is fair during play but there is a great, well-known tune, while the computer waits for a key. Quite a good game from Perfection - again, this one lacks something on the content side, but this improves after about 10 minutes of continuous play.'

'I must say, I found the turtle a little hard to control because this is one of those games where your "man" moves under his own steam, changing direction with a keypress. Still, you get the hang of that quite quickly. A joystick certainly helps, as things move very quickly once there are several mutations after their dinner, and in this respect the game is very good as it has user-definable keys to suit most joysticks. The graphics are a bit variable with a somewhat simple looking turtle that isn't animated. But he does curl up nicely - or withdraw into his shell, should I say, and the mutations are very effective. Quite addictive.'

'Turtle Timewarp calls for a fair amount of skill in getting safely round this hazardous series of mazes, especially as the chasers are quite intelligent. The idea of never knowing whether you are about to catch a turtle or a nasty cold does keep you on your toes. I liked the game and found it addictive because it does get very hard as you progress.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: user-definable, four needed for direction and one to drop bombs
Joystick: almost any type via UDK
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: although generally good, perhaps it could have been more varied
Graphics: quite detailed, reasonable in movement
Sound: only useful beeps during play, but good tune
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: 3
Screens: 10
Originality: a novel type of creepie based on the maze format
General Rating: Above average to good with addictiveness.

83%
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72%

Screenshot Text

Open the box - or take the money and run? Turtle Timewarp.