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Icon Software Ltd
Peter Fothergill
1985
Arcade: Platform
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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128
Chris Bourne

Nasty little bug-eyed monsters have decided to destroy all intelligent life in the universe. For some inexplicable reason they decided to start with Earth. You, the player, have been recruited to save us. The enemy space ship is closing in and you must secretly enter it, outwit the alien beings within and destroy its power source.

Bug Eyes is a fairly easy game to sum up, it's a platform game. Each of the 10 screens has two main types of hazard objects that go up and down threatening to crush the hero should his timing be anything less than perfect; or the second main hazard which takes the form of bridges that exist only just long enough for them to be crossed. In the unlikely event of your getting past those problems you will occasionally be called on to deal with a few minor hazards such as descending doors or 'the big nosed gliding ogre'. In the first screen, called 'stamping stompers' the player has to avoid being crushed by Romanesque type pillars. Should he manage that then the next screen's crushers take the form of the 'blinking bouncers' in fact the author of this program is something of an artist when it comes to alliterations, the game is drenched with such goodies as 'dreaded dastardly descending door' or 'the terrible twisting thingies'. The game doesn't require great speed from a player but it does require impeccable timing and judgement.

The game is made even more difficult because the time allowed to complete each screen is limited, as you make your way through the screen you will notice that the energy level drops as time passes, fail to reach the exit before zero energy and you lose a life. The energy counter, shown at the top of the screen on a bar chart, is renewed with each new screen or life. Points are awarded for each obstacle that is cleared but sadly there is no high score facility.

Some times you will escape death by virtue of a feature called 'automatic alien repulsion device', there is no means whereby the player can invoke this machine it simply means that there will be times when the player should have been got, but wasn't. In fact the only controls required to play the game are left and right, no jumping or blasting is required.

CRITICISM

'This is really a very ordinary game, except perhaps for the graphics which are very attractive not to say smooth. The most outstanding feature of Bug Eyes is the characters portrayed within, but I gave up drooling over those after only ten minutes. I will confess that I have had more than a little difficulty penetrating the starship but that's because my sense of timing lands me in trouble crossing the road. I think this is one of those games that is immensely challenging and addictive until you've cracked it. It does make a change to have a platform game that doesn't require zapping and leaping, just not a very good one. It would be fair to say that this game would suit people who enjoy playing challenging computer games but don't require an extra pair of hands and a double jointed hip to play, from that point of view it's an ideal beginner's game but not up the level of adept arcaders.'

'Bug Eyes is a very hard platform game. It only has two keys, so it seems quite simple at first, but after a couple of screens, timing your runs correctly becomes increasingly difficult and your four lives go very quickly. Bug Eyes has nice big graphics and fair sound with all the characters being well animated. The only thing that really gets up my nose in this game is at the very start - a message appears on the screen and an utterly untune-like noise is played. I quite enjoyed playing this game and on several occasions it had me going for the jump button that didn't exist'

'Bug Eyes is a very simple game to get into after all you only need two keys to play the game. The graphics are quite good and the sound isn't bad either. Colour is used well and the whole game is quite good. I found Bug Eyes moderately fun to play at first but after a while I soon got bored of the whole thing. Overall not bad for a while but nothing to rave over and not enough to hold the player's attention for very long.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: 6/7 left/right
Joystick: yes but type not specified
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: very good indeed
Graphics: chunky but well defined and attractive
Sound: not extensively used but amusing
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 4
Screen: 10
General Rating: Not immensely exciting to play but this is an attractive game and very challenging to master.

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