Saboteur II

by Clive Townsend, Rob Hubbard, Tim Hayward
Durell Software Ltd
Sinclair User Issue 63, Jun 1987   page(s) 28,29

Label: Durrell
Author: Clive Townsend
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

I dunno really. Maybe I've just seen a few too many games that look like this recently (and maybe none of them are as good as Dan Dare).

Saboteur II has large animated sprites and mixes martial arts with looking for things - pieces of punched tape which contain the secret something or other.

And somehow it just leaves me cold.

Shock, horror, non-sexistness! You play a woman (the ninja's beautiful sister we're told). You wouldn't know it though, she seems to be clad in the standard black gear. Anyway there's nothing to stop you pretending to be a man if being a woman gives you emotional problems.

There's a lot of screens (700) but a lot of them are pretty similar. There are objects to be found and used, but not many. The crux of the game really is kicking androids, which is OK but not easy.

The game begins quite well, you glide in on a hang-glider to a maze of high security buildings. Although you don't control the flight you do control where you 'drop' which in turn determines whereabout you begin your entry to the buildings. So, where you drop becomes part of the judgement involved in the game. For what it's worth I've found dropping after 3.5 screens worth of 'flight' most useful.

The game is divided into missions but the essential ingredients remain the same - kill as many androids as you can using either your feet, fists, or one of a variety of weapons located in the building. So far I've found stars, swords and wrenches. You are also looking for pieces of punched computer tape (these control the flight path of a missile and... blah blah...) if you can find them all, the next step is to find your way through a series of tunnels to a hidden motorcycle and take off...

Mostly the game area is a series of walkways at different levels linked by ladders with the occasional box or chair scattered about and the background is just an expanse of wall.

Tunnels are a little different being full of bats which need a fair amount of carefully timed ducking and the android robots are pretty nifty - large black figures, some equipped with a pretty threatening looking laser which burns away your energy levels at an alarming rate. Even better are the pumas which leap about authentically and can run faster then you can.

The actual fighting part of the game is goodish. Moves are essentially restricted to kick, duck and punch (or throw if you are holding something) and the androids don't fall easily.

A bar indicates your energy level and basically it gets used up in fighting and gets restored when you stand still.

What this means is that you have to be pretty careful about when to attack and when not - if your energy starts to get low, run away very fast Saboteur II isn't a bad game by any means, but it suffers from being too much like too many other games around recently.

Maybe it's a bit lacking in variety as well.

Overall: 3/5

Summary: Some nice graphics for the central characters but suffers from a paucity of plot ideas and a lack of game variety.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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