Skyhigh 17 Game Reviews
This is Shuze back again with a revolutionary new chapter for you (well, maybe, anyway!).
No, not release charts, game reviews. You know, those things that used to appear in Zzap!64 and still appear in PC and Amiga mags (as well as the con- soles).
Very few mags have ever thought of doing this, even though most paper mags used to use game reviews as their main reasons for living!
This month, I have decided to review 1 full game, and one preview of a forthcoming game, which looks pretty spanking hot, and a complete review should appear in Skyhigh 18, when I get the full version.
And, YES, I will actually buy the full version!
So, on with the main review of the issue!
from ART PROJECT STUDIOS
(Code by Marc Teufel and Matthias Kramm, Graphics by Marc Teufel, Music by Bluez Mues)
Well, a German production from the Art Project guys (in this case, Seytan/Arcoss and Quiss/Reflex), but why do I state that it is a German production?
Well, its in German.
It definitely is.
Almost positively in fact.
Of course, for a game which involves understanding words, it is not too much use for me, as I do not undertand German. BUT, fortunately those kind guys in SCS+TRC gave a hand by translating the game in their version of it. Of course, I already had the original sent to me by Marc Teufel of New Entry, so I am not stealing their game.
So, the game begins with a pretty bog-standard intro, you probably couldn't even call it an intro, just a decent sized logo saying "ART PROJECT", but its very well drawn, with some nice music to go with it.
Then, upon pressing fire on Joy Port 2 (how many people, like me, pressed space until they were blue in the face?) the IRQ loader kicks in, and on rolls the game, with a prompt telling you to press fire.
Up to this stage, the game looks very professional indeed, with some superb graphics, and no glitches, as well as the fast loader, which restores faith in games (after COMPLEX, yawn). The relaxing music is still there, and you get to a title screen, then upon pressing fire, although the coder seems to prefer showing you the graphics than reading the joy port, as I found myself pressing fire quite a few times before it said "Oh, yeah, you want to go on do you?" or suchlike.
Then, the screen where you select how many players and their names appears, nicely presented again, there has been a lot of attention paid to design on this game, which is good to see.
Then, major flaw number 1.
Giving a list of name for people to choose from may seem like a great idea in theory, but seems to me to be more like a waste of memory in holding the names when a simple text inputter would have been much better. That was pretty annoying, as I didn't want to call myself "Rainer", but, I chose that, as, well, it was raining outside!!
Then, some more nice graphics flash up, and we get into the questions! Yes, some more great graphics accompany an ultimately dull quiz game.
The ideas are all there, the graphics and music are definitely there, but then, all it is is a quiz-game, as you would expect from a game with the title : BLACK QUIZ.
But why do I give such a negative impression of the game?
The first problem is one that you get with ALL quiz games where you type in your answers, simply that if you phrase your answer differently to the one given, you get it wrong.
A particularly bad example is the inconsitency in names, that is, they way that some answer have first names, and some only have surnames. The worst example I found was where there were 2 different questions, and on one of them, the correct answer was Albert Einstein, and on the other, it was just Einstein. This is not the coders fault, but is just what happens in quiz games. Admittedly, some questions specify whether they want a first name, or a family name, but not enough. It really needed to be made into a standard of only family names.
Other problems exist in the SCS+TRC version, but maybe not in the original, with the occasional spelling mistake.
Now, I come onto the truly unforgivable mistake.
I faced a situation at one point where I was asked the same question 3 times in the space of 10 questions, an that is just pointless. With the amount of files, you would think there are a lot of questions but in 5 times of playing the game, I only ever got about 4 new questions each time, with the rest con- sisting of already used ones.
Of course, when you boot up each time, there is no way of changing the order so already used questions are not re-used, but I think it is important that an attempt is made to mix the questions. I get the feel- ing that they couldn't be bothered putting any more in there.
OK, it is time for me to give some marks to this game, in terms of games, not demos:
Idea: 60% (Good initial idea, needs more development) Code: 55% (Nice GFX, but some unforgivable errors) Music: 85% (Just a background, and not annoying) Graphics: 92% (Great logos, well designed + placed) Playability: 75% (Can sit down + play straight away)
(Nice try guys, but it needs some more work to iron out a few small bugs which ruin the game)
And what is the next game to the slammer?
from ELECTRIC BOYS ENTERTAINMENT SOFTWARE
(Created by New Entry)
Well, this is just a preview of a forthcoming game by EBES, and it looks pretty brilliant.
In case you haven't seen the preview yet, it's a game much in the style of the game HUMANS, which graced the slopes of the L'amiga a while ago. But not quite.
The basic concept of the game is to move the one platform you have so that you cover the holes in the ground so your people (walkerz, I assume) don't fall down and die. Its also much in the same vein as Lemmings, and that old classic "Traffic", where things get pretty hectic at points.
The first thing that will strike you about the game is the great graphics, as they are pretty hot, with some nice use of the top borders to add to the the feel of the game.
As we have come to expect from New Entry, who pro- duced the fabulous Arc Doors, this game just oozes quality from all over. The graphics and music set the scene perfectly, and everything is slickly coded so collision detection is not a problem, as it could have been.
It must be said though, if you are comparing the game to Lemmings and so on, it missed out a bit, as you could feel for the Lemmings when they squeaked to their death, but, alas, not for these pixelised men, as they are a bit too big (but they need to be, so you can see them!).
This definitely bodes well for the full game, and if all runs to plan, it should be released soon, if not by the time you read this.
The game costs 5 pounds and 99 pence, and can be ordered from ELECTRIC BOYS, whose address will no doubt be kicking around somewhere in the mag.
And that is it for this issues game reviews and previews. I hope you enjoyed them, and if not, tell me why, and I will see what I can do (ignore you, most probably! NOT!)
Any coders who want their game specially reviewed, should try their luck by sending the game to: