After the War

by Deborah, Enrique Cervera Mateu, Luis Rodriguez Soler, Luis Royo, MAC [ES], Snatcho
Dinamic Software
Your Sinclair Issue 48, Dec 1989   page(s) 60

£9.95 cass/£14.95 disk
Reviewer: Kati Hamza

And you thought a Hell's Angels' convention on a dark night in Swindon was a dangerous place to be. Well forget it, because anyone who can tell their trousers from their nylon pyjama bottoms knows that the most hair-raising location this side of the chippy on a Saturday night is Manhattan. Not the most hospitable place at the best of times, let alone after a nuclear war! Cripes!

Yep, they finally did it. The superpowers pressed those cute little red buttons and the world's been blown up. The poor blighters still alive have either lost their marbles or turned in total desperation to the pleasures of the flesh (cannibalism that is, perv peeps). The only chance our hero, Jonathan Jungle Rogers (concrete jungle, geddit?), has to escape is to run like the blazes to a launching platform and scarper on a ship headed for space.

The upshot of this whole shebang is that you (our Jonathan) have got to fight your way through two loads full of crazed and frenzied radioactive blokes and robots (rotters). First off, you're hurled into the midst of one of those left/right flick-screen beat-'em-up affairs pretty much in the mould of Vigilante, Renegade, Dragon Ninja - you know the stuff. Basically, it's a case of kicking and punching diced carrots out of a bunch of radioactives who glow in the dark and throw dynamite at you. Then it's face to face with the extra tough end-of-level baddie. Ooh, what a surprise!

Second load, and the launch pad you're after just happens to be defended by a psychotic maniac with an army of defensive robots and gun emplacements to his name. The pesky blighters just won't let you get on with your job! The follow you, throw atomic mines at you and send out their mega kangaroo destroyers (big tanks with mega guns). Your honest-to-goodness bloke, just trying to escape the planet and make a better life for himself, has no choice but to pump them full of lead with his machine gun. What a shame.

Well, that sounds like a pretty run of the mill beat-'em-up cum shoot-'em-up to me, I hear you cry. Well, yes. There's nothing mind-bogglingly new about this little number, I grant you. But having said that, it does have some of the biggest, mean-muther-looking sprites I've recently seen on the Speccy, clear if unspectacular backdrops and brillo 128K sound. The fighting moves on the beat-'em-up bits are a bit on the boring side (just punching, crouching and kicking) and poorly animated, but on the shoot-'em-up levels it really comes alive.

Wandering along claustrophobic corridors with giant gun on hip, taking pot shots at the trillions of robots and security droids that gang up on you from above... well, it's got much of the feel and atmosphere of that space film Aliens. (What a pity the Speccy conversion of that was so hopeless!) Yup, real gung ho macho excitement (if you like that sort of thing). For mindless blasting satisfaction it takes some beating.

There's one major fly in the ointment though - the difficulty level (it is a Dinamic game alter all). It's just pitched way to hard. Not quite as bad as Navy Moves perhaps, but you still get zapped straight back to the beginning again far too often. How blooming frustrating! Maybe I'm just going soft, but the fact I wasn't getting anywhere fast really put me off. Don't start raiding your piggy bank.

Life Expectancy: 60%
Instant Appeal: 70%
Graphics: 75%
Addictiveness: 65%
Overall: 71%

Summary: Dodgy (and ludicrously difficult) first level hides a rather snazzy, all action shoot-'em-up. Would've been marked higher if it wasn't so hard.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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