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1987
Arcade: Platform
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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66
Jim Douglas
Chris Bourne

Butch Hard Guy, we are told, is one tough cookie. He's a Vietnam Vet with a bad haircut. His trousers are torn and he's got a grazed knee. Butch is obviously terribly hard.

Advance, in all the excitement of constructing a parody of similar games seems to have become a little confused as to exactly who you are. During the blurb on the back of the box. It appears that you are some form of recruit and have to prove yourself to Butch. On the inside however, you are Butch.

Anyway, whoever you are, your mission is to rescue your fellow war vets from the altogether unsavoury Dr Tie Fu. (Oh dear.)

The World, we are informed, has been taken over by Dr Fu who has built loads of robots and prison camps. The camps are filled up with people in little cages and the robots guard them. Most of the action takes place in the South Pacific (cue useless music) where Fu's castle is situated.

The robots are coated in a very, very dangerous poison that will cause you to drop dead immediately on touching them. As with all androids constructed by insane villains, they can be destroyed by a well aimed kick etc, etc (though if kicking doesn't constitute touching, I don't know what does).

The prisoners can be seen in tiny cages looking suitably depressed. In order to free them, you must run to the cage and kick/punch it open. The prisoner will then run for all he's worth to the wrong side of the screen, bounce off the right hand side to a waiting helicopter.

What we have here then is a cross between your standard platforms and levels game and a rather inadequate combat program.

Despite this, it's actually all rather enjoyable.

There are twenty screens, each increasing in danger as you near Fu's castle.

Being obviously far too tough to require anything as girly as a gun. Butch hares around the screen (with quite surprising agility for someone so ludicrously muscular) somersaulting and diving like there's no tomorrow and hitting anything in sight.

Robots generally appear from the top of the screen and work their way down. As their movements are fairly predictable, it's possible to find yourself a temporarily safe location and wait for them to run toward you. A well-timed kick will send them pootling off in the other direction. Now you have to get out of the way before their innards collapse and the casing explodes. This, as you can imagine, is none-too safe although it can be used to your advantage by ensuring another robot is right behind the injured one. With any luck it will be destroyed in the explosion.

The sound is appropriately dreadful and there is an air of quirkyness about the whole thing.

It's a nice piece of programming, though, and offers enough longevity (it's pretty tough in some places) to prevent it being an over-expensive joke.

Label: Advance
Author: Future Concepts
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

****

Satisfactory programming with some half-cocked humour to boot. Don't let the dreadful free badge put you off.

4/5