Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

by Dobbin, Fatman, Stuart J. Ruecroft
Global Software
Crash Issue 28, May 1986   page(s) 23

Producer: Global
Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Fatman and Dobbin - graphics by S Ruecroft

Yet another game of the film, but this time it's a game of a rather special film. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes may not have an Oscar, British Academy Award or Golden Lion to its name but what it does have is the prestigious World's Worst Vegetable Movie' accolade. For those of you to whom the plot is totally alien which probably encompasses most of you, it is as follows:

Wimp Plasbot, a man who despite not having the letter H appear anywhere in his name, but has it inscribed upon his sweater, is the hero and his place of employment is a Tomato Puree plant. This particular plant is oh-so-very-important indeed since it's the major supplier for the country's pizza parlours. Pureeless pizza is not a very palatable foodstuff at all and consequently if Killer Tomatoes had the sauce to attack this puree plant, people would be very upset and try to ketchup with the perpetrators. Well it just so happens that....

Wimp must rid the plant of mutated vegetables and still keep the nation's pizzas pureed. Not an easy task, especially if your name is Wimp Plasbot. There are three different types of tomato to be found within the confines of the factory but only one of them is of the homeopathic persuasion. You can tell killer tomatoes a mile off - they have legs and move around in square-like patterns, they also kill. There eight of these little chappies and the object is to get rid of them.

Gleeful to see the arrival of their liberating killer cousins, the previously normal tomatoes now merrily bounce around their home. Wimp, no wimp when it comes to mashing vegetables, must get these animated red veggies into the crusher to keep up the supply of puree required. Though very happy indeed, the newly enlivened pre-pureed product is very easily scared. To curtail their bouncing activities Wimp must take advantage of their pathological fear of blood - Plasbot has to zap them with some tomato sauce. The third type of tomato is an inactive though still harmful sort of chap. These sit on the factory floor and cause the time to whizz by. If 'knocking off' time is reached and the factory is not fully devoid of violent veggies then the game is over. Luckily though, Wimp can get some extra time by finding punch cards and depositing them into, strangely enough, a punch machine.

Presented in the Knight Lore 3D-ish type format that everyone with a Spectrum must have seen, AKT is an arcade adventure type game requiring the manipulation and use of various objects to disable the terrible toms. There are two separate caches supplied in which to hold objects. One is exclusively for storage of debounced tomatoes and the second is for any other objects. To pick anything up the numeric keys across the top of the keyboard are used, walking into the item that Wimp needs and holding a key, stores that particular item in a little pigeon-hole and it's shown at the bottom of the screen along with a diminishing tomato which represents the puree supply. Any tomatoes squished boost the tomato back to its previously perky and fully blown self. If, however, it hits zero then half an hour is zapped off the clock and doom for the pizza eating population is half an hour nearer.

The factory is quite a large place and covers over four floors all accessible through holes between ceiling and floor. Wimp must clamber over objects with the use of his jump key and his amazing super power of walking in straight lines. Avoidance of nasties is wise as death could well result.

When death darkens this wimp's door, no real fuss is made but instead a dissection of puny Plasbot's progress is displayed, showing at percentage of various things he managed to complete. Though he may be Wimp by name and nature, Mr Plasbot is under your control. Don't let him wimp out - the nation's pizza eaters depend on you.


Control keys: Z rotate left, X rotate right, Q jump, A advance, 1-0 pick up
Joystick: Kempston, Interface II
Keyboard play: responsive as ever
Use of colour: two colour but detailed main screen with some bright spots on the status spots
Graphics: very neat and extremely fast. A believable 3D effect is competently created
Sound: No theme tune but adequate sound effects abound
Skill levels: 1
Screens: lots

Yet another 3D monochrome game and I still don't get tired playing them. Killer Tomatoes is a take-off of the other 3D games - it's even programmed by Fatman and Dobbin! My favourite part of the game was squashing the tomatoes although I feel more could have been made of the squelching and killing. Killer Tomatoes contains a massive maze and, just like Knight Lore it takes a lot of time to get anything like a good score. I also found a few more similarities to the aforementioned game - starting in different locations, only being allowed to drop two items in each room and a few others. Killer Tomatoes is more of a fun game to play than Knight Lore but still requires lots of serious gamestering to get around obstacles, and with lots of good podgy tomatoes around, it's one of the jolliest 3D games around.

I was pleasantly surprised when I loaded this one up, I thought it was going to be another of those mediocre games that has nothing other than its name going for it I really enjoyed playing Killer Tomatoes as it has a special quality that will keep me playing for ages to come. Graphical it is very similar to Sweevo's World, very fast well drawn single colour isometric 3D, with large characters all jolly and nicely animated. On the sound front however it doesn't have much going for it, only the odd beep here and there and no tune, which is a shame as it would have added to its atmosphere a little. Generally I would recommend this game to everyone as it is compelling and playable.

Despite the awfulness of the movie of the same name, AKT is an excellent game, though it does owe quite a lot to previous releases. It's yet another 3D effort, though a very good effort it is. The graphics are speedy and pretty and give the effect of 3D which is held nicely throughout. As for the game, it's great and is quite funny as well. Wimp Plasbot is a wonderful hero who's easily persuaded to perform the actions required of him. There's a lot of challenge to keep the hardened gamesters at bay but it's easy enough for any simian to get into. Definitely worth a good look at.

Use of Computer: 86%
Graphics: 88%
Playability: 87%
Getting Started: 88%
Addictive Qualities: 90%
Value for Money: 90%
Overall: 89%

Summary: General Rating: A great game of a very bad movie.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 6, Jun 1986   page(s) 59


At last a game that reveals the true danger of tomatoes. Yes, tomatoes, I say. And you thought they were virginal little vegetables, didn't you? Well, they're not! They're rampaging fruits and this proves it. Ever wondered about the colour of those red skins, eh? Oh, the Kremlin's certainly behind this one.

The hero, Wimp Plasbot, employee of the Puritron Processing Factory, has only eight and a half hours before the menace can ketch-up with him. This booby works from nine till five (thirty - sorry, Sheena) and attempts to rid the plant of plants. Can pure-hearted Plasbot purée the peril in this pulp pandemonium? Only you can decide.

Looking like an Ultimate offering - doesn't everything nowadays? - though without quite the polish, this extremely silly offering is more in the style of Sweevo's World - though it also lacks the lunatic logic of that game. The red menace takes various forms. Easiest are the little bouncing tommies (even sounds like commies, huh?) which can be stunned with a lotta bottle - there's enough power to nix seven of them before you need to seek a recharge. Bang into one then pick it up and carry it to the press before the purée bottle at the bottom of the screen empties, otherwise time will fly forward by half an hour.

The walking killer tomatoes pose more of a problem, because contact means instant demise for all you Wimps out there. You'll need to stun them during their perambutations but I can't tell you how - just remember the Beatles Max and all will go well. With the killer tom reeling you can now push him into a hole, but beware - if he comes to, it's back to the start for you.

The third type of tomato is big and static so it shouldn't prove too much of a menace providing you can master the controls which are of the rotate and walk forward variety.

If this all sounds like too much for one day, then it is. However, finding time cards will give you what every boss has always wanted - longer working hours. You'll have to take the punch card to a time clock and these may be a bit difficult to find - most of them look like two blocks in the centre of a room.

The colonization of the Processing Factory is well under way and you'll find walls of tomatoes that have to be hurdled and some carefully judged leaps are needed if you're to suck-seeds from the pulpy peril. That said it's probably a simpler game to get to grips with than many of the Ultimate type, being rather less cryptic. Fun though, and in converting the film nominated Worst Vegetable Movie of all time Global has created a tie-in far better than the original deserved - and far better than many superior films have received!

Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 8/10
Value For Money: 8/10
Addictiveness: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 56, Jun 1986   page(s) 21

MACHINE: Spectrum
SUPPLIER: Global Software
PRICE: £7.95

Last month we warned of the imminent arrival of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, a game apparently based on a film which was once voted the "Worst Vegetable Movie of All-Time".

Well the game has now arrived and a pretty tasty dish it is. We won't quibble over the fact that a tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable.

In concept the game is not startlingly original. It's very "Ultimate" in style but none the worse for that. But it is a departure in style for Global who are better known for straight forward adventure games rather than arcade adventure.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes chronicles the predicament of Wimp Plasbott - he's trapped the PuraTom processing plant.

The game is packed with undeniably silly things, salad bowls, sauce bottles and rampaging tomatoes. All good fun.

And what's more, Global is planning to release more games based on silly films. They include Curse of the Mushroom People, which will be released in two parts, and The Wild Women of Wongo.

Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Playability: 8/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue 5, May 1986   page(s) 43

Global Software
Arcade Adventure

Nothing will have a games reviewer heading for the Valium faster than a 3D isometric adventure with a film tie-in. Never fear, Global Software has found a new method for this tired old approach. Film tie-ins are usually the province of large software companies with plenty of cash to buy the rights.

Global has hit on the idea of Golden Turkey film tie-ins with some of the worst pieces of celluloid ever to grace the silver screen. The logic is presumably that they will not have to pay rights, as no movie company will admit to having them.

In the game, your hero, Wimp Plasbot, clocks on at 9 o'clock to find the tomatoes at the local cannery have mutated. Wandering through the 208 rooms spread over four levels, our hero must use various objects he finds scattered around to trap the killer tomatoes.

As usual, there are all kinds of deadly things out to get you and various problems to solve. Meanwhile, you must keep up your puree level by crushing the unmutated toms.

Graphics: 4/5
Sound: 3/5
Playability: 4/5
Value For Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue 25, May 1986   page(s) 15

Global Software

I have the strangest feeling that I've seen this game somewhere before. That's probably because Killer Tomatoes is the latest in the increasingly long line of Knlght Lore clones. Knlght Lore's 3D graphics were something special when that game was first released, but over the last six months or so there have been more and more games all built around that once unique style of graphics, and the novelty's starting to wear off.

Killer Tomatoes casts you in the role of Wimp Plasbott, proprietor of a pizza restaurant that's in danger of closing down through lack of tomato sauce. So Wimp sets off to tackle the kilter tomatoes and stock up on sauce before time runs out on him.

The factory that Wimp has to make his way through is full of the now familiar sorts of obstacles, though in this case most of the deadly objects are tomatoes of one sort of another. There are the bouncing tomatoes that have to be collected and carted off to the machine that turns them into sauce, and the tomatoes on legs that have to be subdued by finding the hammer hidden in the factory somewhere. Also scattered throughout the factory are a number of objects that can be carried and used to help you get through some of the rooms, though it seemed to me that some of the traps are impossible to get out of unless you've got just the right things with you.

The time limit is controlled by a clock which counts down as the game progresses. Wimp starts at 9.30 in the morning and has until 5.30 in the afternoon to complete his task. The clock counts down in real time, though there are time penalties of ten minutes whenever you hit some of the tomatoes.

Killer Tomatoes is quite a complex, and very professionally produced game, that should keep you occupied for quite a while, but its similarity to all the other Knight Lore inspired titles left me feeling that it didn't really offer anything I hadn't seen before.

Overall: Great

Award: ZX Computing Globella

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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