Abu Simbel Profanation

by Alfonso Azpiri, Florentino Pertejo, Santiago Morga B., Snatcho, Victor Ruiz Tejedor
Dinamic Software
Crash Issue 19, Aug 1985   page(s) 106

Producer: Gremlin Graphics
Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £6.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Victor Ruiz

This is the second of the two Spanish games from Dinamic Soft to be released by Gremlin this month (the other being the boxing simulation, Rocco). It is, in its simplest form, a platform game cum arcade adventure. So why Profanation? Well, it's not that it might be blasphemous to buy or even play there's nothing remotely immoral about it. Neither has it got anything to do with the fact that a few profanities will escape your lips during play. No, the profanity is the Pharoah's curse that has been inflicted upon our poor hero and intrepid explorer, Johnny Jones (Pause for breath) Gasp! Shock! Horror!

Yep, the highly inquisitive Johnny's gorn and got himself trapped in the Temple of Abu Simbel, erected over 3,000 years ago by Ramses II himself, no less. This temple wasn't the only thing left behind by the Pharoah (cue Vince Price voiceover). No, there was also the threat that an evil spell would be set upon anyone brave or foolhardy enough to enter the Pharoah's tomb! All the temple's secrets remained hidden from the curious eyes of humanity for over 30 centuries. That was, until JJ decided to take a look. Now he's been turned into a hideously deformed... well, thing is the best description I can think of (I don't think he looks so bad, in fact he's quite cute - he looks rather like an armless purple spud on legs, with a large nose and for some strange reason he's always smiling obviously nose something we don't!).

So now JJ's in a mess, or rather a tomb. (Cue tense muzak...). Can JJ free himself from the spell and find his way to the mortuary chamber and discover its secrets...? Well he can if he can get out of the first location!

The Temple itself consists of 45 chambers, each containing its own platform arrangement and particular group of nasties. Most of the nasties move in regular, predictable patterns while others are stationary problems such as spikes that shouldn't be fallen on. Other cosmetic things adorn the locations such as spider webs and skeletons. The screen flips to the next location on moving from chamber to chamber rather than scrolling.

Large slabs of stone are present in some locations, blocking further progress and they can only be moved by 'collecting' the correct 'keys' (touching small blocks with heiroglyphs on them). There are also a number of traps throughout the temple's 45 locations that are only noticable once you've fallen into one! You soon learn what's what. Deeper into the temple there's a large coloured diamond (I won't say what that's used for), deadly pools, stalactites that fall and crumble, snakes, mummies, a row of stepping stones over a river of pirhanas and some damn-near-impossible-to negotiate Van der Graff generator thingies amongst a multitude of other objects.

Control is simple left/right movement with two heights of jump (depending on how far you need to safely leap) - a normal jump or an extra high one. You initially start with ten lives believe me, you need 'em and one is lost each time you hit something nasty, such as a deadly water drip, a spinning monolith or even some spikes for example (usually found in traps).

The instructions are deliberately sparse, giving only a brief scenario, the keys used and how to load the game (always useful). This is to allow you to find out things for yourself... well there are arcade adventure overtones, after all.


Control keys: O/P left/right, Q-T/A-G high/low jump Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: good
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: very good
Sound: good
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 10
Screens: 45

This is one hell of a difficult game to play, but one I didn't find too off putting because of it. The graphics are very good, the main character being humorously and well animated. I particularly like the way he looks innocently around if left standing doing nothing for a while. Other characters and objects are very well defined/animated and colour clash is very rare (even when it does occur it's rarely offensive). The title screen music wasn't bad, nor were the. sound effects. Although Profanation doesn't offer anything outstandingly original in terms of gameplay, it does offer a tough challenge for it's price

Ten lives, that's surely a generous helping... or is it? Well, if perhaps another zero was added, then it would feel about right. This is a pretty evil game, it s got lots of nasties in store to kill off the unwary adventurer. The graphics are great, they really give an authentic, spooky atmosphere. To compliment this, you are portrayed as a zany-looking creature. Abu Simbel is simply a brill game that is as hard as it is good. Its difficulties will frustrate you, while its charms will addict you. Not for the casual player: pro's only!

Those of you who despise platform games will probably find yourself loathing this one as it is incredibly difficult and proves too frustrating to be worth playing for any great length of time. There's not a great deal new about it, with the usual monotonous left/right/jump stuff that is found in your average platform game. The graphics are the most appealing aspect of the whole game with some excellent sprites and a great use of colour all round. The sound wasn't too hot and the title screen music drove me up the wall. Still, any platform freaks who still enjoy this sort of thing will probably love it, but the rest of you shouldn't expect too much.

Use of Computer: 62%
Graphics: 86%
Playability: 75%
Getting Started: 54%
Addictive Qualities: 80%
Value for Money: 73%
Overall: 78%

Summary: General Rating: A good but very difficult game, nothing outstanding though.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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