1989
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

80
Mike Dunn, Phil King
Chris Bourne

Don't push me! I might just go and see a Sylvester Stallone movie - arrrgggghh! You see, I was down in 'Nam a few years ago and my mind is still taunted by horrific memories. So when I discovered that some American soldiers were still being held hostage, I volunteered to join the rescues mission.

The hostages are being held in a prison camp at the base of Butcher Hill, slap bang in the middle of a dense jungle. Before my mates jump in and rescue them I've got to knock out the camp's radio. But first I've got to get there in my flimsy inflatable boat. Reeds cause the boat to go out of control, rocks bounce it out of the water and colliding with the river banks reduces stamina. And that's no mentioning the military hazards, like mines and enemy aircraft. Fortunately stamina can be boosted by collecting red barrels, while other barrels provide extra ammo to shoot mines or save for later stages. Being a Vietnam vet this is a ridiculously easy section, which goes on far too long with very unattractive graphics.

If I manage to keep awake long enough to reach a jetty, I can land and continue my mission on foot. A previously collected compass helps me to navigate through dense jungle (viewed in first-person perspective 3-D). On the way to the enemy camp, I must keep an eye out for enemy soldiers and the odd land mine. I can also attack enemy tanks and hide-outs to collect grenades and ammo - vital for the final stage where I must blow up the enemy huts.

The jungle sections are in fact pretty tough, if you don't get shot you can easily run out of ammo. Mapping is vital but considering the military scenario, there isn't really enough shooting. And if you aren't looking for arcade action, there's little else worth finding in Butcher Hill.

PHIL … 53%

CRITICISM

'I'm afraid Gremlin have come up with a bit of a turkey here, guys. Butcher Hill is an extremely badly presented game - the first section is a mass of messy colour; the second is simply monotonous greenness! Probably the worst thing about the game is the awful boredom that sets in during the first level. It just goes on and on and on, with very little demanding action - most of it is simply spent waiting for the little yellow jetty! Still, if you don't mind bad presentation, and you've got an infinite supply of Pro-Plus (to keep you awake), you might find yourself actually getting something out of Butcher Hill. But I'm afraid I didn't' MIKE … 48%

Gameplay is simple and monotonous; as is presentation. A mediocre military sim.

48%
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Screenshot Text

War is hell, and you're about to become the latest victim.