Gauntlet fever has struck, and it looks as if at least two look-a-likes, Storm and Droids will be on the streets long before US Gold brings out the official game, licensed from Atari, in November.
Mastertronic's Storm is already out and though a little slow, you can see at a glance where the idea came from. Storyline aside, it's a one or two player game played in the now well-known Gauntletesque maze. You look down on a labyrinth of corridors from a bird's eye view, which gives the characters a strange stunted look. At first what you appear to be controlling looks like a pair of bull's horns. It was only a few confused moments later that I realised I was in fact looking at a pair of curved arms from above.
Once I'd adjusted my viewpoint the visual logic of the game fell into place. (Funnily enough though, a chicken leg, from above, looks exactly like a chicken leg from the side, but enough of the pedantics.)
Storm, given its budget tag is an excellent game. Rush round the maze killing off the nasties which spring from generators (familiar?) If you persist, you can blast the generators, or use a magic mask spell to get rid of them all in one fell swoop. The generators only reappear if you re-enter the screen. Other helpful objects to pick up are bottles for energy and amulets and scrolls which have a smart bomb effect on the nasties.
Unlike Gauntlet, Storm's not a scrolling game, each screen contains one section of the maze, with a number of exits to the next area. It looks like it needs careful mapping. To get into the wizard's laboratory, you need to collect three snake broaches, though what you do once you've got into the lab is anyone's guess. I didn't get that far.
Your ultimate quest is to rescue yet another helpless princess, who's been hidden somewhere in the wizard's lair. You've only got a few lives and time is limited. For a basic, up, down, left, right and fire. Storm offers a challenge and is great value.
Reviewer: Clare Edgeley
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