Melbourne House
1989
Arcade: Action
£8.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

46, 47
Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

You know, I wondered why this, being the latest 16 to 8 bit conversion by Melbourne House, was called Aaargh! I soon found out when I loaded it. Here's the scene. Hmm hmm hmm, type LOAD "", press play, wart, beee dit, beee diddly diddly, oh good it's loaded. Aaaaaarrrgh!

You are a monster. No, not the sort your mother keeps calling you, but an honest to god great big hideous destructive monster, with a penchant for smashing down buildings and collecting rocs' eggs.

Play either an ogre or a dragon in your quest to find the mystical Golden Egg, hidden deep within the volcano. But before you race off to the volcano in a mad rush for the golden egg, you must prove your worth as a monster by terrorising the cities surrounding the area in which you live and collecting the five rocs' eggs.

Terrorising the cities is as easy as pie. You begin outside the city walls, looking in. The city itself is made up of a group of small huts, one of which, if you are lucky, contains punches in the direction of the city boundary and, as Def Leppard sang, 'the walls come tumblin' down'.

So step into the mouth of the enemy and set about smashing up their buildings in the search for the eggs. Punch the buildings to pulp, or why not burn them down with your fiery breath. However, it's only once you step into the city that you realise the menace that these puny people called humans really are. For one thing, they have massive cannons that cause rather a nasty amount of damage. Too many hits from one of those babies and foom. You're out of there. Oversized hornets also cause problems as they buzz, bite and do whatever else it is hornets are supposed to do.

Other challenge comes in the form of other players. You see, the game can be played two player simultaneous, and at times you can get into head to head scraps where 'there can be only one'.

Viewed as a pseudo-3D single screen walkabout thingy, you have to scavenge 12 cities of the world, all set against different backdrops. The funny thing is, and this is really going to make you laugh, the game is multi-load. Not any normal multi-load, but Really-badly-programmed-finnicky-sonofabitch-o-load (© Melbourne House) which means that at the start of each game, you have to reload level one, regardless of whether or not you got off it on your last game. Irritating or what?

The graphics are, well, alright. The sprites themselves are poorly designed, and as for the animation. Hmmm. The less said the better. The only really good thing I can say about the graphics is that I like the way the flames are animated when you breathe fire.

The game, as a game, is crap. Boring from the start, and successfully managing to consistently remain boring all the way through, Aaargh! manages to capture all the fun and excitement from the original 16 bit Arcadia trash, sorry, smash.

Label: Melbourne House
Author: Binary Design
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Phew, this isn't very good is it? Aaargh! indeed.

49%
51%
38%
41%
44%