Rentakill Rita

by Robin Thompson
Mastertronic Ltd
Crash Issue 48, Christmas Special 1987/88   (1987-12-10)   page(s) 165

Ravishing Rentakill Rita is faced with the most difficult task of her cleaning career - to rid the ancestral pile Little Ditching of all its bugs and beasties.

But this mega Mrs Mopp will have to do more than swat a few insects with a rolled-up newspaper and flush them down the loo. The gigantic spiders and flies of little Ditching call for different methods.

Rita can splat them with the crushing weight of a Rita lookalike, suspended from the ceiling - if she can solve the problems in bringing it downward with flattening force.

Alternatively, Rita can spray the spiders and flies with a deadly gas, but first she has to find the spray can.

Another problem is that the house isn't exactly a one up/ one down Barrett starter home. One room leads to another, and many contain not a three-piece suite in a subtle purple Dralon, but hideous traps that can easily end the courageous cleaning lady's life: spikes spear her, electrified floors fry her, trundling balls mow her down and robots rub her out.

To get through these ruinous rooms Rita must work out ingenious methods, walking, jumping and using levitating and floating blocks.

Cans of food can also be collected by Rita to get her through the day - housework is a full-time job.

Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: monochromatic, the usual isometric 3-D
Options: definable keys

'At last a 3-D maze game with decent controls: none of this rotation stuff! A shame, then, that it is let down by a few problems. Killing the nasties is a precarious business which damages the playability considerably, and some screens are vicious to the eyes. Besides, this multitude of 3-D arcade games is really getting on my nerves...'
BYM ... 77%

'Strange name, but nothing much strange about the game. It's Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes without all the fun and excitement and though the problems and graphics are very similar to Head Over Heels the 3-D presentation of Rentakill Rita is much harder to acclimatise to. Still, though the halo around Rita's body is annoying at first, the pixel-packed background makes this game look nearly as real as the genre ever will. The budget market is ideal for this kind of games - all the ideas have been used and nobody's expecting anything original.'
PAUL ... 69%

Presentation: 67%
Graphics: 67%
Playability: 64%
Addictiveness: 64%
Overall: 73%

Summary: General Rating: A derivative 3-D game good for a few plays.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 26, February 1988   page(s) 67

This is one of the most blatant rip-offs of a game I've ever seen, but in this case Mastertronic has used a good model - the gut-wrenching brilliance of Jon Ritman and Bemie Drummond's Head Over Heels. I can't say I'm too displeased - I was getting a little bored of the cheapie labels ripping off Fairlight and Sweevo's World (their usual models for this sort of 3D isometric game), when they could be duplicating the one that has really set the standards. So here we are with Head Over Rentakill Rita, or whatever it's called.

And really it's terribly good. The programmers (uncredited) have half-inched loads of Jon and Bernie's routines and turned them into a spanking good game. You are the aforementioned Rita (another female hero - times are a changin', and for the better), and it's your job to rid your employer's manor house of some irritating bugs which wander around several rooms. The only way you can do this is by crushing them under huge weights, and this you control by jumping onto switches which are always in the most out-of-the-way parts of the screen. It's puzzle-solving time in fact, and although there's more stress on pixel-perfection than in the original, some of the teasers are quite ingenious.

Otherwise it's all the usual nasty-avoiding and map-making stuff and although I've only got part of the way into the game, there's enough to keep you occupied for more than the odd evening.

And as Jon Ritman has no plans as yet to follow up his masterpiece, this may be all that we addicts can get. Unless our Game Of The Year award has some influence...

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

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 69, December 1987   page(s) 56

Although Rentakill Rita isn't half as awful as it sounds, nothing changes the fact that it's yet another of a long series of what used to called 'Ultimate-style' arcade adventures. Each chamber in the game is depicted in single colour 3D perspective, and the task is to guide the stumpy Rita around the chambers, wiping out creepy crawlies which infest the Manor by dropping weights and squirting aerosols on them.

While the graphics are OK, especially the flying eyeballs and sinister wasps, we've all seen this kind of 'pick up the block, drop it on another block' thing too many times before. Along side the invention of Jon Ritman's Head over Heels, Rentakill Rita doesn't shape up at all well.

Label: Mastertronic
Author: Robin Thompson
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Overall: 6/10

Summary: Another undistinguished attempt to produce an Ultimate-style arcade adventure on the cheap.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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