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

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