by Clive Townsend, Tim Hayward
Durell Software Ltd
Your Sinclair Issue 34, Oct 1988   page(s) 94


Make a mug of cocoa and stick yer tired feet on the coffee table ("Get them off" oo-er- mum), as Duncan MacDonald guides you through the spooky world of budget games.

Reviewer: Duncan MacDonald

I imagine that a hell of a lot of you will already have this one, cos it did pretty well when it first came out. It was megagamed, actually.

It's a flip-screen platforms, ladders and tunnels affair in which you get to play a ninja warrior. You've got to infiltrate a security building and steal a computer disk. Out to stop you are guards trained in the martial arts. They also have knives and shurikens and things, but then so can you (if you pick them up - they're scattered around all over the place.)

You start off in a river and have to climb a jetty to gain access to the building. Once inside it's 'oh dear, which way now' dilemma time. There are ladders going up, ladders going down and further rooms leading off to the left and right. Walking into some rooms an result in a birrova shock, as you might suddenly find yourself being attacked by a guard (or indeed a guard dog). Hold down the fire-button and keep that joystick moving if you want to kick someone's light out. Fights are best avoided, unless you really can't help it or you have a throwing weapon, as they sap your energy - you can see the bar plummet.

Anyway, if you ever manage to find the disk, you still have to locate your helicopter to make good your escape.

Saboteur has nice big, well animated sprites, a modicum of colour and gameplay which is 384% more absorbing than a J-Cloth.

Re-release/Original score 9

Overall: 8/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 1, Jan 1986   page(s) 66,67


It's a race against the clock, as you take on some of the fiercest Kung Fu fighting Ninjas the Spectrum has ever seen. Would-be anarchist Sue Denham dons her fighting togs and battles through the endless maze of Durell Software's smash game Saboteur.

Game: Saboteur
Publisher: Durell Software Ltd
Price: £8.95
Joystick: Protek/Kempston
Keys: Up/down/left/right/fire - definable.

There have been a fair few martial arts games released or due for imminent release on the Spectrum of late - System 3's International Karate, Melbourne House's The Way Of The Exploding Fist, Imagine's Yie Ar Kung Fu and US Gold's Bruce Lee to name but a few! But none is quite like the latest offering from Durell Software.

The scenario for Saboteur thrusts you into the part of a sabotaging Ninja warrior, sneaking around an enemy warehouse that's much more than it seems at first sight. Your task is to search out a floppy disk from one of the many computer terminals scattered around the computer complex and escape with it. But before you go, you've got to leave a little present for your pursuers - a time bomb. Which doesn't leave you too much room to negotiate a safe path home!

The game itself comprises 118 different screens, which all go to make up the four-level warehouse - there is the warehouse itself, a computer complex, and two layers of labyrinth-like sewers; the latter areas have a tendency to look the same, which can be a great problem for those who have an aversion to making maps of the best route to safety. All the weapons a self-respecting Ninja could want, can be found by stumbling across them on your adventures. But you can only hold one weapon at a time and, once you've used it, you'll have to search round for another. Points are awarded for killing the guards - by weapons or skilful use of martial arts - but your real adversary is time... and the final objective of stealing the floppy disk and getting clear of the warehouse before the fuse burns down.

Overall, the game is addictive and great fun. There are nine levels of difficulty - but on the easiest level, you can work out the structure of the game and prepare yourself for the terrors of playing at the higher levels. Map-makers will be in their element when they first start playing the game, but it will be the rugged Kung Fu fighters who will out in the end.

Saboteur manages to combine the good graphical representations of the other Kung Fu games with the solid background of an action-packed story. One to be recommended.

Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 8/10
Value For Money: 9/10
Addictiveness: 10/10
Overall: 9/10

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 38, Feb 1989   page(s) 55


Honest guv! Sounds well dodgy dunnit? That's what we thought so we sent David 'Miserly' McCandless out with a crisp new tenner to boldly go where no stingebag had gone before (shopping) and not to come back until he'd found four YS megagames. We didn't think he'd be back. He didn't think he'd be back. We were wrong.

Talk about Mission Impossible, this was flamin' Mission Inconceivable. Four megagames for under a tenner? There's no such thing. Well at least there wasn't until a cunning lobe at the back of my brain remembered that a load of old ripsnorters were being released on budget labels. Mind you, by today's standards these games may be a molecule less than kosher but - hey! a megagame's a megagame no matter what epoque you're living in.

But there was a problem.

There were mounds, piles and heaps of past corkers to be had in the shops. All the companies had realised the potential market in resurrecting games, jumped on the exact same bandwagon and nearly toppled over. So I, being what I am, (insert your own joke here) picked out the top four blasts from the ghost of the past, the best four raves from the grave, and then rounded the rest up for you to delight over during the post-turkey blues.

Reviewer: David McCandless

Saboteur is an ancient game which stunned when it first attacked the market way back in June '86. The realistic figure graphics, the sheer size of the map and fast gameplay add up into an arcade adventure that still impresses to this day.

The idea is to control your mean, moody muscular ninja as he penetrates a massive warehouse complex, recover some stolen computer disks, kill the multitude of ninja guards, and naturally blow the entire warehouse into yesterday. No hassle!

You infiltrate the building by swimming in under cover of night, padding across the wharf and pouncing through a window. Crates and fuel drums lie piled here and there and you use them as cover to sneak up on the guards. The tapes are hidden somewhere below ground while your escape helicopter is on the roof. You use ladders to climb between the floors, but there are dogs and security cameras out there to stop you. And time is counting down...

This is a game to be reckoned with if you like your beat 'em ups to have purpose, intricacy and addictiveness as well as the habitual death, blood and bruises. And you Saboteur fans out there should be interested to hear that Saboteur II is on its way from Elite soon!

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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