39 Steps
1987
Arcade: Adventure
£8.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

69
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

Which came first. The Monster or The Bride? According to the 1935 film The Bride of Frankenstein starring the recently departed Elsa Lancaster, it was the monster, but 39 Steps has taken a bit of ghoulish licence and made The Bride the first creation in its pretty good 3D arcade-adventure style release of the same name.

You get to direct the figure of the bride building up the monster from parts of recently buried bodies she finds in the cemetery near the castle. She needs lungs, kidneys, a liver, a heart and a brain. Butcher's offal won't do, so remember, when you start her digging in the graveyard the first part you unearth may not be the best!

Before you start digging, though, you've got to find a pick-axe or a spade, as well as a host of other useful accessories, all of which are hidden in the 60 rooms in and around the Castle Frankenstein.

The Bride looks like a sleep walker in night cap and gown, and her innards are just as dodgy as her outward appearance. She's equipped with a heart monitor and globe bottle, which contains her green life elixir. Her heart-rate increases when she meets ghosts and skeletons, speedy creatures who can easily trap her in a corner or trap her between their bodies until her heart races and bursts.

Fear also drains the elixir from her veins, and once it's gone she loses her one life (?) and you have to start again You top up elixir from a bottle in The Sanctuary, but first you've to find this rest place. Not an easy task because most of the castle's doors are locked.

Collect the organs and. If you've unlocked all the necessary doors in the first two game phases, you can zombie-walk your way up to the tower where your lover lies.

Despite reliance on plot concepts and graphic style from games such as Ultimate's Pentagram, The Rocky Horror Show and Nosferatu, The Bride of Frankenstein is a fabulous romp.

You don't get many clues and may have to rely on blundering luck rather than logic. That may put you off to start but, if you stick with it, Bride will reward you handsomely.

Label: 39 Steps
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: John Gilbert

Addictive horror-arcade-strategy-spoof. A mixture of re-animated plot and 3D graphics combined to good effect.

8/10