BARGAINS ARE BOOTYFUL
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, Programmable
THE WILD BUNCH
Joystick: Cursor, Kempston
In a bid to capitalise on the computer gaming scene, British Telecom has recently entered the market with their Silver range of games - priced at £2.50.
They are a mixed bag. BT's claim that the games are worthy of a five pound price tag seems to be applicable to only two of the games reviewed here. The remaining two would be expensive at any price over £2.50.
In Booty, you play the pan of Jim the Cabin Boy who finds himself aboard the infamous pirate ship - the Black Galleon. One night while most of the pirates are sitting down to a steady drinking spree Jim creeps round the levels of the ship to steal their loot.
However, life is not always a game and Jim finds himself in the suds when he realises that not all the pirates are drunk - some have been left on guard. To get into their cabins, he has to steal the keys from under their noses.
The graphics are excellent with half the game portrayed in the increasingly popular style reminiscent of Sabre Wulf and Pyjamarama.
Viking Raiders is a different kettle of fish. It is a strategy game set amongst warfaring vikings back in the days of King Canute.
There are four armies, each headed by a Viking chief. The aim is to defeat the other three armies and become victor and ruler of the area. Dirty tricks abound and your catapults can be used to devastating effect.
The graphics are sparse and basic. Each army takes a different colour which is hard on the eyes. Bright blues, pinks and greens may look nice in the programmer's imagination but they look terrible to the player who has to squint to see what is going on. However, there is enough appeal in the game to detract from these basic graphics.
The remaining two games are The Wild Bunch and Exodus. The Wild Bunch is an adventure set in the wild west. Framed for a murder you didn't commit, you are out to nail the Wild Bunch. The game resembles a superior multiple choice with a selection of options given to you at every move.
Adventures written in that style are rarely as exciting as those written in the more conventional mode - they rapidly become tedious. Billed as a graphical adventure, The Wild Bunch has a few scenes dotted around the adventure which are well depicted. For the most part though it appears to be mostly text.
Exodus is your average arcade game packed with characters cloned from other games. Mutant llamas abound, hovver mowers, galleons and TV sets lurk and assorted aliens merely wait to get you. The game lacks excitement, the graphics flicker and the sound is fairly average.
The ghosts of old pirates shiver in their timbers as you embark on a search for gold booty in the pirate ship. Firebird's game is a levels and ladders production with an exceedingly intricate construction. Keys open doors into new holds, lifts and ladders help you avoid the rats and rotting decks spell disaster.
Highly addictive, Booty earns its place by virtue of its price - an amazing £2.50 - far and away the most successful budget game, and more fun than most at three times that price. It's still a favourite with many players, and very difficult to beat too.
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