Infernal Combustion

by Charles Goodwin, Robin Grenville Evans
Strange Loop
Crash Issue 11, Dec 1984   page(s) 16

Producer: Automata UK
Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £6.00
Language: Machine code
Author: C. Goodwin

Automata Towers, that well known TV series, is on fire, and all the residents are threatened with flame out, a sizzling end to another fine day in tower-block suburbia. It's all the fault of that little cult, the Piman, whose soaring star has fueled the flames. Your task is to help Walter Hose put out the flames and save the inhabitants from becoming barbecued spare ribs. Despite his name, Walter has only a fire bucket and taps to help, unless he can get to the fire extinguisher. The method is to grab the bucket and run to the nearest tap, fill the bucket and then douse the flames which are breaking out all over the place. A bucket full will do the trick for a few fires, but it needs to be replenished frequently. Care must be taken to ensure a needy tap isn't isolated by burned out staircases. Being a gentle bunch, some residents actually keep dynamite, and this should be removed to safety as quickly as possible!

There are also fire extinguishers to use, a pink elephant which dances beautifully, and doors which may be used to avoid the worst of burns. Points are scored for inhabitants and valuables saved.


Control keys: left/right - alternate keys bottom row, Q-P/A-ENTER up/down, numerics to use an object, BREAK to drop, CAPS to open/close door
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: reasonable layout despite handful, responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: although small, generally good, animated and good looking fires
Sound: fair
Skill levels: 1 with progressive difficulty
Lives: 3
Special features:

Piromania will obviously not be an epic, but it is quite a good idea and is very playable. It gets infuriating, especially when the piromaniac comes along and starts the fires again. If you leave a fire burning it will spread around all the building and eventually bum through the floors. I haven't found any dynamite, which is a surprise, as I got quite far with the game. I quite enjoyed it, and it will probably have lasting interest for me.

I don't think I've ever seen a game quite like this - it's certainly different. The idea is so simple even a moron could play this game, just get your bucket, fill it with water and put the fire out Saying this, the game does have a little more content than just putting a fire out I must say, it gets ever so frantic and panicky on the higher levels - and whatever is a pink elephant doing in a house?! One niggle about the game is that Walter is a bit over-responsive, or perhaps it's him just making a frantic dash to put the fire out, and he slides as he comes to a stop. Nevertheless, I found this game very playable and very enjoyable, but I don't know whether to recommend it, except for its sheer simplicity of play. A good family game.

Piromania is a fairly original platform game. The graphics are not very large, but they work well. The game has that quality that tends to make it addictive. Quite a few control keys are required, even with a joystick. Overall, I would say this 'hot' number is quite hottish.

Use of Computer: 69%
Graphics: 71%
Playability: 72%
Getting Started: 67%
Addictive Qualities: 72%
Value For Money: 72%
Overall: 70%

Summary: General Rating: An unusual game, with high playability and reasonably addictive.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Spectrum Issue 6, Aug 1984   page(s) 45

The aim here is to run around a house putting out fires, using either a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher. The bucket, of course, needs filling up from the taps. You can pick things up for bonus points.

Mark: The idea of putting out fires is quite good, but the finished product doesn't really match. The speed, sound and colour can be described as pleasing. MISS

George: This is an original scenario for a computer game, but it could have been improved by making better use of colour and graphics. HIT

Robert: The graphics could be better, colour is used well to make the fires and all the action seems very real, but not overpowering. Unfortunately, the scoring is rather difficult to understand and, for me, still remains a mystery. MISS

Mark: Miss
George: Hit
Robert: Miss

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 37, Nov 1984   page(s) 88

MACHINE: Spectrum 48k
SUPPLIER: Automata
PRICE: £6.00

It'll take some skillful playing to get your name into the Piromania Hall of Flame.

The game is set in Automata Towers and you have to help Walter Hose to put out the fires. You can travel around the blazing building by some fairly fast keyboard-digging or joystick wobbling. What you're after is a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water. Then just press the right key to douse the nearest fire.

The actual graphics for the fires are quite realistic with good flickering effects. Then, when extinguished, they turn to just a puff of smoke and fade away to nothing, accompanied by a wonderful hissing sound like when you pour water onto a hot frying pan.

There are taps around the building, so when the buckets are empty you can fill them up again. But extinguishers will disappear when all the foam has gone.

Quite why Automata should store dynamite in their offices, I don't know, there is some around and these must removed to prevent explosion. There are also bonus points for rescuing valuables and even more points if you do it faster than anyone else.

If you fancy this game, I suppose you'd better hot-foot it down to your local software store. It's one of Automata's better games, but still has an awful PiMan single the other side of the tape. The game runs with a Kempston interface or Sinclair Interface 2.

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

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Personal Computer Games Issue 13, Dec 1984   page(s) 58

MACHINE: Spectrum 48K
CONTROL: Keys, Kemp, Sinc
FROM: Automata, £6.00

Another of Automata's games featuring their cult character the Pi-man. In this game he is not under your control - in fact he is very much the bad guy of the piece. The Pi-man, it seems, has become an arsonist.

The layout of the game is rather basic, consisting of ladders and platforms to represent a building which is rapidly becoming an inferno. Your man, a chubby, well designed little fireman, must rush around putting out the fires which appear randomly on any of the platforms, most of them having been started by you-know-who. He must also open doors to set free the fleeing inhabitants.

The fires are put out using the fire extinguisher or the bucket (which you pick up by moving over them). However these soon run dry. The bucket can be filled at the tap (which is on the lowest platform) and there is often more than one extinguisher on each screen. The doors are opened simply by moving through them.

Your only help in this red-hot scenario is from a pink elephant which occasionally stampedes across the upper-most platform extinguishing the fires.

Bonuses are achieved for each inhabitant that escapes and for valuables and dynamite collected (these objects appear irregularly on any of the platforms). The sheet is completed when all the fires are put out and the next sheet has a different layout.

The graphics are fairly small and a little flickery, but are well designed and colour is iArell used. The sound is continuous and of a good standard.

Piromania is probably Automata's best effort to date, but I do find this 'Pi' fixation a little ridiculous. A game with little variety but a great deal happening all at once. Good fun, but it may not light your fire.

This is driving me wild! Everywhere I look there's a fire starting or something to be collected. My bucket's empty and so are the fire extinguishers. Where's that top? Oh no! That girl's trapped by the blaze.

Like I said, Piromonia is driving me wild. It's fast, furious and fiery. I have no doubt this will do a bundle in the shops, just as it deserves to.


The graphics, though rather small, are cute and well animated. I especially like the angel which flies up to the heavens when you lose a life and the pink elephant (funny thing to keep in a house) which jumps its way along the top floor.

Overall this is one of the better Pi-man games.


At first it seemed to be just a fancy version of Space Panic - but that turned out to be a false impression. This is a very enjoyable game in its own right.

The graphics are really very amusing, with creatures like the pink elephant who prances comically across the screen. The sound is hilariously gruesome - the people squeal as they're consumed by the ever-expanding fire.


Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 6/10
Originality: 7/10
Lasting Interest: 7/10
Overall: 7/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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