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Procom Software
1983
Arcade: Platform
£5.50
English
ZX Spectrum 16K
None

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102
Chris Bourne

Bonkers has a cheerful inlay card and an even more cheerful title page, cheerfully disguising the fact that this game is a wolf in sheep's clothing. There is an element of the Jumping platform game to it - in this case it's all downhill.

You're told that a group of earthlings have been trapped in the upper regions of an alien space station. They must reach five airlocks at the bottom to escape, but the horrible aliens are holding a creepy creatures convention (CCC for short) and they all join in to make life difficult. The CCC cast list includes Double gangers, a Pacdroid, Squidge-droid, Stomper, Baby-droid, deadly space ship (in a space station?) and two other mystery guests.

Your trapped earthlings all appear at the top of the screen in the scoring area, each one coming down via the side of the screen when the previous one has been done in. There are five platform levels, the lowest containing the five airlocks. The corridor is defined by dark blue, the thick floor by pale blue. In each floor vertical shafts move left to right and vice versa. Your man doesn't fall through the shafts, but must attempt to leap down through them. When he reaches the bottom he can jump down into a free airlock.

One serious problem is that the CCC moves not only along the corridors but also through the thickness of the floors - you can get caught in the lift!

CRITICISM

'Bonkers is an immediately engaging game to play because all the characters are animated. Your trapped men stand at the top, waiting their turn and literally shaking in their boots, if you make an earthling run along a corridor and stop, he automatically turns round after a second and faces you, waiting for the next command. It's also good to have as many control options as are provided, two keyboard positions and two joysticks, although I didn't think the combination of E,S.D & X was all that sensible.'

'Excellent game presentation and instructions get you well started. The game sounds easy when you read them - well, I'll tell you it isn't! At screen one there is one alien trying to get you, but for every screen you clear one more alien joins in, so by screen 10 there are ten creepies after you. All I can say is that Procom have got a winner - very active, very enjoyable, playable and excellent value. Bonkers shows that a simple idea may be better than a complicated one.'

'I always liked Imagine 's Jumping Jack, a wonderfully maddening game, and Bonkers is very similar in feeling. The animation is much more evident in Bonkers though. The idea is simple and relies on the piling up of odds against you the better - or luckier you are. They've also avoided the dreadful Death March music and contented themselves with an angel flapping up away from your dead earthling until it vanishes off the top of the screen. This is a really good arcade game.'

COMMENTS
Keyboard positions: cursor keys or E,S,D.X
Joystick options: Kempston, Fuller and via the cursors, AGF and Protek
Keyboard play: highly responsive and very fast movement
Use of colour: average
Graphics: very good
Sound: good
Skill levels: increasing difficulty by the screen
Lives:
Screens: over 10

General Rating: Very good.

75%
74%
77%
75%
84%
80%
77.5%

Screenshot Text

Stuck in the corridors of BONKERS.