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Code Masters Ltd
Owen Brunette
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Ben Stone, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

Private Harry Jones - Brainache to his friends - has once again left his valuable mining equipment down on a planet's surface. This time it's on the planet Nesbit, hidden somewhere in the depths of the Stella mines. Brainache decides that while he's looking for his forgotten equipment he's also going to find the fabled Anatese diamond.

In this one or two player platform- style game, Brainache makes his way along the mine's descending pathways, tunnel systems and lifts. Our joystick or keyboard-controlled adventurer moves left, right, up and down, occasionally dropping to lower levels or climbing up ravines.

Lurking amongst the outcrops and hollows of planetary rock, he finds bothersome butterflies, cosmic spiders and flying goats. Contact with one of these relieves our hero of one of his four lives. Runaway mining trucks, bounding boulders and pernicious plants also lay Brainache out for the count.

Brainache carries a blaster for protection. Points are scored for blasting insects and other creatures, the total being shown at the bottom of the screen.

To help him get further into the mine's shafts and tunnels, the muddled miner picks up tools and items he finds about the place.

Brainache's oxygen supply is finite, diminishing from the moment he leaves his shuttle. Another life is lost when the air supply reaches zero, with an oxygen indicator at the bottom of the screen showing the remaining level of life support.


'This game's got a really apt title, as you'll have an aching brain lf you fork out any cash for it. The copious use of colour tends to obscure the action - and for some time after playing this I was seeing purple spots. CODEMASTERS have the cheek to put 'Why pay more?' on the loading screen. I think you can probably answer that one for yourself.' BEN

'Brainache's graphics only look good from a distance. The characters are badly drawn, and the way in which colour is splashed about completely ruins the pleasant spiralling effect. The way your character gets trapped in certain areas is really annoying; try standing on top of a lift for instance - Harry gets stuck when you reach the top of the shaft... Aaargh!' MIKE

Control keys: Up 3, Down E, Left G, Right H, Take U, Drop 8, Fire X, Climb N
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Use of colour: gaudy, unnecessary and eye-straining
Graphics: a confusingly detailed backdrop with annoyingly small characters
Sound: loading screen cacophony and uninspired effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: one vertically scrolling landscape
General Rating: A failed attempt to bring scrolling to the Spectrum screen.


Screenshot Text

Brainy's shuttle's down on Nesbit okay, but the exuberant use of colour obscures his actions.