Producer: 39 Steps
Retail Price: £8.99
Author: Paul Smith and Steve Howard
Tough luck. Night has fallen on Castle Frankenstein and its grounds. Within this foreboding stronghold lies an inactive Frankie, the organless monster of an evil creator, awaiting revival.
To make this imperfect brainchild whole, you must collect his essential parts - lungs, kidneys, liver, heart and brain.
The castle consists of 60 flick-screen rooms, dungeons, corridors, laboratories and courtyards. Wandering through its terrifying interior reduces energy levels, shown as elixir in a bottle which you must refill.
And within these nightmarish confines lurk floating ghosts, ghouls and skeletal monstrosities. Contact with these evil entities increases your thumping cardiac rate, shown by the pulsing heart at the bottom right of the screen - and you risk terminal heart failure.
Some doors are locked; there are seven different keys hung upon the castle walls, though. A spade and pickaxe can be found and used for excavating graves, and a lamp provides illumination for exploring darker areas.
Further complications arise in the castle's dungeons where distraught prisoners beg for release, and in the tower where electrical repairs may be required before Frankie can be stimulated into action.
Control keys: O left, R right, Q back, A front, SPACE to pick up/swap/use objects, SPACE and 0 or SPACE and P to dig/axe
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Use of colour: monochromatic
Sound: spot FX, unattractive title tune
Skill levels: one
The appeal of Bride Of Frankenstein wears off soon. It has good presentation, and quite pleasant graphics (most of the characters are amusingly drawn). But it lacks content. And most annoying is the way in which, on some screens, you leave by the top exit and emerge in the next screen's top exit - an unprofessional and disorientating effect. Though there are some good ideas, such as the heartbeat meter, Bride Of Frankenstein could have been much better.
It's the middle of the night, the lightning is raging outside, and you're all alone. Can you revive Frankie? I think this type of game, where you have to hunt around a building searching for keys to get into other rooms, went out years ago. The graphics are above average, though there's jerky animation. And the ghosts and ghouls don't move in set patterns but home in on you, so if you stay still for a couple of seconds you die, which makes it quite frustrating.
Someone's actually done something original with a 3-D adventure game - the graphics in Bride Of Frankenstein give the old theme a new dimension. Action is fast and accurate, but the game is slowed badly when lots of people appear on the screen. Some of the backgrounds are very detailed and help the atmosphere tremendously. My only gripe is the strange way the character flicks from location to location - it's very distracting and off-putting. Bride Of Frankenstein is out of the ordinary, and definitely worth considering.
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