Dragon User - September 1985
Screaming Abdabs, A & F Software, Canal Side Estate, Woodbine Street East, Rochdale OL16 5LB. Price £6.90.
The Manic Miner type of game is one of my favourites thus giving this game a distinct advantage. However, even those who mock this software breed will not be able to deny that this is en excellently designed end executed game.
As has been said, it's a Miner clone, consisting of 35 very complex screens, each more challenging then you are at first led to expect, and to negotiate these screens you get five lives plus a bonus life at 5,000 points.
There is an option for keyboard or joystick, one to four players, and, although undocumented, pressing "c" changes the colour set.
There is a pause facility but for some inexplicable reason it seems not to work when playing the game in keyboard mode.
The most interesting feature built into the game is the "Randomize" mode which, when selected, will pick any of the 35 screens, at random, for the players enjoyment (!)
The graphics are superb; if the screen looks cluttered at times it is due to the complexity of the game.
This game not only features moving and collapsing platforms, it also has electric walls, transporters, moving beams (a la Donkey Kong Jnr), switches, and the usual run of everyday objects turned mutant (we have screws, televisions, no toilets - sadly - and scissors to name but a few) but they move in two dimensions - they move up and and down as well as left and right.
The unclear instructions do not tell you that you have to collect all the food on a given screen before you can collect the key and finish the screen; rather they imply that you can collect the key at any time.
This game, apart from the very small niggles above, is faultless. lt looks good (even the loading is great once you realise that the computer is not actually crashing - it's meant to load that way!). And what's more it plays fairly which means no collisions are registered unless they actually take place on screen (regular players of Jet Set Willy will know what I mean) and plays very well.
This is yet another one for the collection - unless, of course, you hate Manic Miner. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
- Jason Orbaum
- Screaming Abdabs (zipped .CAS file)