Unless otherwise stated this review is not affiliated with any other website nor has the review been authorised by the copyright company or indiviudal author. As of 17th July 2017 this encompasses every review within ZXSR. If you would like this or any other review removed from this website, please contact the website administrator here.

Automata UK Ltd
Not Known
1985
Compilation
£10.00
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

Other Links


90
Chris Bourne
Chris Bourne

HERE'S THE third collection of tacky games from the dank cellars of Automata. None of them could be a hit packaged individually, but ten games at £8 mail order - or a tenner in the shops, if you can find it in the shops - is a bargain by any standards.

There are eight arcade games on the tape, and two Quilled adventures - neither appear to be attributed to The Quill, but programmers tend to be devious about where they put the acknowledgement. Slapped wrists if it was omitted.

Pi-Meval Man is a jump 'n' dodge game of little interest - standard stuff. Swettibitz in Space is one of those games where you guide the spacecraft through a tunnel zapping aliens. It's lifted a bit by the confusing colour graphics, which will keep you on your toes.

Space Warrior, an invaders-type game, I found impossible to play. The invaders seem to swarm around your spaceship when you start, giving you no chance to make a kill.

Those are the worst games. Best of the bunch is Crazy Castles, where you travel over all the Pi-signs in each of 30 castles. It is extremely fast, attractive to look at, and contains a few tricks in later screens such as masked routes, where your character disappears behind the castle graphics to emerge elsewhere. You've also got to avoid the ghosts.

Necks Please is a rather sparse game of dodging Guardians in an empty space while collecting spells to use against Batula's creatures. Creepy Dungeons and Drunk Policeman are Jet Set Willy type arcade-adventures, and if you like such games you'll find those adequate entertainment.

Mad Hatter involves setting the table for the famous tea-party. Collect up the sweets and choccy rolls, but don't let the mice or the poison pills touch you. just to make things difficult, a pair of manic vacuum cleaners suck you towards them if you're not careful.

The adventure games are a wise inclusion, as the arcade numbers are unlikely to hold your attention for long, with the exception of Crazy Castles. Terry Braverman's Royal Adventures of a Common Frog asks you to rescue a princess from a dungeon. You start, a lonely frog, on a lily-pad. It's a long quest, a little lacking in humour or descriptive power, but the puzzles are certainly difficult enough. I did get a bit bored, however, with the sub-standard "I can't" reply to incorrect commands.

What that lacks in fun is more than made up for by Here There Be Tygers, a mad surrealist romp which starts when you stick your big toe up the bath tap and find a vampire leeching onto the end of it. A hilarious introduction sets the style, which involves quantities of strange food stuffs, lots of lateral thinking, and a mysterious quest which is not all it seems. Saving the universe is only the beginning... try wearing the silk undies over your jeans.

All in all, a mixed package - good value for money, certainly, but not outstanding. Worth buying as a stocking-filler, especially for Crazy Castles and Here There be Tygers.

Chris Bourne

Publisher: Automata
Price: £8.00
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston

****

4/5

Screenshot Text

Here There Be Tygers

Crazy Castles