Post-holocaust frolics as you search for the Sacred Armour of Antiriad, an Anti-Rad combat suit (Antiriad... Anti-Rad... geddit?) which is the only salvation for your primitive race in its battle against the alien invaders.
But be warned. If you own a 128K Spectrum, your people are doomed from the start... the game won't work on the expanded machine. Palace should be sentenced to its own dungeons for such incompatibility!
Anyroad up, while 128-ies have to settle for reading the accompanying comic, which contains this singularly uncomic history, it's up to the rest of you to charge around the sort of landscape that would drive a geiger counter crazy, leaping and bounding and avoiding all the pests that seem to blight every Eden.
Yes, at heart Antiriad is another dodge and collect arcade adventure, but what makes it such an animated diversion is its animation. I don't think I've ever seen a figure run, jump and hurl rocks quite so smoothly or quite so athletically as Tal. I mean, if he'd like to come round to my place for a rub down some time, the big barbarian hunk, I wouldn't say no... knowworrimean?
All in all, a lot of care has been taken with Antiriad's graphics, because the landscape is beautifully designed too, from the twisted trees of the jungle, with their swinging sloths, to the mystical high tech temple with Its urns and rough stone floors.
Luckily it won't prove too hard to find the armour in there. Once you've stepped into it, the view screen at the bottom of the picture springs into life, providing all sorts of useful information. Now you need to strip off again and search for the optional extras that all the best-dressed warriors demand. There are gravity displacer boots, to give you that extra lift, and pulser beams, particle negators and implosion mines to combat combat fatigue. There's probably even a set of fluffy dice somewhere.
Like I said, the graphics are Antiriad's greatest strength. Ironically they're also the source of its weakness. Control of Tal is not all it could be, probably because of his size. Responses can be unpredictable. This is compounded by the fact that pressing fire while he's running makes him jump, but if it's used when he's still, he throws a stone. It's therefore impossible to jump unless you have a reasonable run up, which causes problems on some of the shorter ledges.
My only other grumble is about the drip that falls from the temple roof. You'd better dodge it because if you let just one drop touch you, you're dead. Fail and you don't have time to move before the next fatal splash, and so, however many reincarnations you have left, they just drain away as you lie there, unable to escape.
Still, if you've got the patience to discover the exact positions needed to make the more crucial leaps, Antiriad is rich in rewards for arcade adventurers. Just watch out... all that radiation could have you glowing in the dark!
Another trip to Lowprice Lane with the king of the skinflints, Marcus Berkmann!
Reviewer: Marcus Berkmann
Phew! Fortunately I missed. Now this one is a bit more like it, a slick little number from Palace which first saw the light of day back in Jan '87 - the same ish, in fact, in which Camelot Warriors was first reviewed. Antiriad, though, has dated rather better than CW, as can be seen by the still considerable number of letters I get on the game in the Clinic. It's a beautifully programmed game which superficially resembles Camelot Warriors - platforms and hunky sprites - but is far more challenging and entertaining.
At heart, it is of course just another arcade adventure, but it's beautifully animated - our Hero Tal runs, jumps and hurls rock more smoothly thatn Phil Snout - and, gor lumme, it's actaully got a plot. The armour is the key - get into that and you'll find it much easier to find your way about. You'll also need to find all those natty little optional extras that all the best dressed warriors demand - gravity displacer boots, to give you that Cookeen lift, and pulsar beams, particle negators and implosion mines, which are even more fun than they sound. Good fun, and the sort of game that keeps you going right until the end.
Rather like Christmas, games from Palace arrive once a year. At least that was the case until now. With Antiriad, the third release from the London-based software company, it seems the tide is changing and that we should look forward to more frequent releases.
If Antiriad reaches the number one spot, Palace will have achieved the same feat a certain well-known Liverpool pop group achieved in 1985 - three number ones in succession. In full, the name of the game is The Sacred Armour Of Antiriad and, with graphics by Dan Malone and some lively music, the game seems set to be an essential part of any collection.
As with both previous releases, Antiriad is a true arcade adventure, set in a restricted area of play, in this case a volcano. When the game is first loaded it is the striking detail of the graphics which makes it stand out so much. The man you control, a Tarzan-type character, runs through the volcano with his hair blowing in the wind until he can find the antiriad suit which will protect him from radiation.
Even when that is located it proves less than useful until you have found the boots which allow you to fly. Once airborne, the game has a new feeling and the size of the maze becomes apparent.
If Palace continues to release games of this quality, it will soon become a very important member of the software industry and as it seems to lack the over-exposure of certain companies, that can only be a good thing.
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