RIGHT from the opening screens of Brian Bloodaxe, which simulate your Spectrum failing to load the program, you know you are entering the upper atmosphere of lunacy.
Brian is a viking, who has been frozen for centuries in a block of ice. On thawing, he decides to conquer the British, who live in 100 screens of Jet Set Willy-style arcade action.
Objects are scattered liberally about the screens, and you will need to engage in some pretty dubious imaginative thought to work out their purposes. Monsters range from ducks to Daleks, Mad Scotsmen to Turkish soldiers.
Those objects, of which you can carry three at a time, can be used to block the path of monsters or to make extra platforms. They are solid, and do not fall when dropped, and thus provide a means of leaping across blank areas of the screen. Getting the correct objects to the correct places, is, however, a daunting task.
Brian Bloodaxe is not original in concept, but the only game we have seen based on the Jet Set Willy theme to match that classic. It will be months before a solution is found to the quest for the Crown Jewels, and there is much incidental pleasure to be gained from the large sprite-style graphics and colourful visual humour. Brian Bloodaxe is a pleasant surprise in a market which has become a little turgid of late.
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair