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Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

Platform games have been around ever since Manic Miner stormed the software charts four years ago. Since then however, they've had a patchy time of it. But Cobra showed that a good platform game can still chart, and Advance have leapt in with this similar (though more light-hearted) offering.

Butch Hard Guy is just unbelievably butch, so macho that in comparison John Rambo and Zombie- Squad Cobra look like Dempsey and Makepeace. His mission? Rescue a few forgotten army war veterans who are held captive by the notorious villain Dr Tie Fu (no tea jokes, please).

Butch doesn't need namby-pamby toys like machine guns, grenades and rocket-launchers; and why should he, armed as he is with lethal fists and feet?

Somewhere on the 20 screens of platforms, are located the POW cages. It's up to Butch and his deadly arsenal of moves, to find them, shatter their bars with a swift kick, and then make for his helicopter with the War Vets in tow.

But there's a small problem - of course. Dr Tie Fu has a platoon of combat droids out protecting his interests. These can be stunned with a punch, or killed with a carefully timed kick, which results in their recoiling backwards and exploding. The flying shrapnel, however, is dangerous, and so is a robot's touch - it loses the Hard Guy one of his five lives.

Apart from running left or right, Butch can kick, punch and perform high or low somersaults. High somersaults are used to move up the screen, low ones are useful for leaping from ledge to ledge. Missing a ledge is bad news though, as a fall of more than the height of a somersault means the loss of another life.

Rescued POWs who get hit by a combat droid while making for the exit, go back behind bars... forcing Butch to free them all over again.

Points are scored for escaped prisoners, completed levels and killing droids. There are no extra lives to be won, so make every one count.


'I really like this. Obviously the programmer has some kind of warped mind - title bits, attract mode and the like are riddled with little stab comments about the Industry and Rambo films. At worst these are boring, at best amusing. The gameplay is basic but very compelling - there's the odd moment when the graphics mess up so you can't see what's going, on but I still found Butch Hard Guy fun to play. I feel that this would be better suited to a budget price but all in all it isn't a bad game.' BEN

'I love the way that Butch Hard Guy is presented as a mickey-take of all the other bash 'em up games - the idea works and is well implemented. I found Butch Hard Guy to be one of the most addictive and playable games I've played so far this year. It's simple in structure, but effective. All the characters are smoothly and accurately animated-though they are a bit too detailed in some places, making them look like a mass of dots moving across the screen. Overall, Butch Hard Guy is a great little game. I look forward to his further adventures - or maybe a film tie-in…' PAUL

'The first time I played Butch Hard Guy, I thought it was go to turn out a generally reasonable game, but it didn't take much to discover that it isn't all Advance have cracked it up to be. The rescuing business is all very well for a short while, but after a lot of playing, it starts to get tedious. The graphics are fairly average, certainly nothing special, and the whole game, while initially playable, becomes boring. Not one I'd recommend.' MIKE

Control keys: definable, left, right, up, punch
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor
Use of colour: poor
Graphics: small and badly detailed
Sound: nice drum solo which puts the rest to shame
Skill levels: one
Screens: 20
General Rating: Despite mixed feelings about addictiveness, an above average and playable platformer.


Screenshot Text

The last vet makes his way to freedom.

Level Three, and Butch still has three captives to rescue.