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This is yet another joystick mashing game, and I can't say I'm over the moon at the return of the
Decathlon type control method; after all, that sort of thing went out of fashion quite a while ago. The game itself is a dull one, with fatty Geoff trolling around making silly noises and fainting whenever the opportunity arose. Even when the game was finally sussed I found no satisfaction in its dull and often boring events. The graphics are very poor -- I didn't know that Geoff was a break dancer; well he seems to be because he does some very good moonwalking! The sound is very grating, with Rob Hubbard's poorest composition yet. I hope that Martech go back to producing classics like Zoids, this is just dire.



Oh dear, this is awful.
Geoff Capes' Strongman Challenge is really a bit of a shock after such neat releases as Zoids and Crazy Comets from Martech. Geoff Capes is a real let down. Even on the level of simple wiggle-the-joystick-about game, Geoff Capes is awful. Quite surprising is the second screen where the graphics for the hills and clouds look like something from a Doodle demo picture. Rob Hubbard's sound track is abrasive, something I never expected him to be. The only really constructive thing you can do with Geoff Capes is ignore it and hope that Martech will learn from the lesson and get back to producing decent software.



Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Geoff Capes Strongman Challenge
1986 Martech
Programmed by ?
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the thirteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: April 20th, 1986).


Martech, 8.95 cass, joystick or keys

When he's not being jolly, tough and really raucous on telly, turning over cars and such like, Geoff Capes is a sprite in Geoff Capes' Strongman Challenge. A fat multicolour one at that. Anyway this latest prog from Martech puts you on the spot to be put through a series of computer fitness tests but you don't have to have a Popeye body since it's all done with a joystick. This means that you can bend fifty iron bars around your neck, hurl a million barrels into a waiting truck and biff cars onto their side with an insignificant flick from your little finger without stinking of sweat. Handy if you ever want to find a Mrs Geoff Capes.

[This screenshot was not in the original review]

First the computer must decide how tough you are, sort the bits from the bytes so to speak. Apparently toughness is measured through how fast you can wiggle the joystick, as this is the deciding factor on how much energy is allocated to the Geoff being controlled. Toughness is measured in wittily named Jim's Gym and Geoff stands face to the screen. The idea is to bend as many iron bars around Geoff's neck in a limited amount of time; once the time has drained then an energy allowance is awarded depending on how well Mr Capes performed. After that the energy can be shared around various parts of the body. Throughout the Strongman Challenge the bottom half of the screen displays various bits of flesh in windows. These are the all important muscle icons. Each window also has an energy status and after acquiring the overall energy on the test screen it's up to you to distribute it between various bits of Geoff's body. Using a joystick and arrow pointer, pressing fire when positioned over one of his muscles increases the power in that region of the body. When the energy has run out it's onto the first event, Barrel Loading.

[This screenshot was not in the original review]

This takes place by the seaside which scrolls into view accompanied by a Rob Hubbard interpretation of 'Roll Out The Barrel'. Gosh, this is a toughie considering that you're supposed to be the world's strongest fatty: two barrels have to be loaded onto an awaiting truck. Before partaking in any event the effort you intend to put in must be decided. The higher the effort the easier it is complete but Geoff gets knackered easier and the muscle icon's power bars reflect this. If at any time the power on a muscle tries to drop below zero then Geoff faints; we don't want that to happen because all his friends will then take the mick. Once power is set, the idea on Barrel loading is to get Geoff to walk down the stairs, pick up a barrel and then get back up the stairs to lob the keg into the back of the truck. Mistiming Geoff's footfalls when stairwalking causes a fall and running out of energy causes a faint. Picking up the barrel is rather simple as it's yet another case of repeated joystick wibbling.

The next event is Tug of War, a battle against the computer generated fatty. The main factors in this eloquent test of skill are the attributing of power onto the different muscle icons. The arm icons decide on how much Geoff grabs and the chest icon's level limits how much he pulls. After setting the correct levels, selecting both leg icons starts the pull. First to tug off the edge of the screen wins the war.

The other events, Fairground Bell, Wood Chopping, Sumo Wrestling and Car Rolling, are all presented and played in a similar vein to the first two events, though reaching them is not easy. Every time Geoff faints he has to start again. Being the world's strongest fatty is not an easy life.


Martech have gone from strength to strength since they released Eddie Kidd's Jump Challenge a couple of years back. Licensing deal after licensing deal followed, and we saw such classics as Brian Jack's Superstar Challenge and Zoids. Crazy Comets was also very good, despite the absence of a licensed character. Now we have Geoff Capes' Strongman, and it is not nice -- at least I think so. I don't like the graphics and sound, and I don't like playing it at all. Dull, dull, boring -- not interested. Unfortunately, Martech have regressed somewhat, and ought to pull up their proverbial socks. Anyway, at least there's Samantha Fox's Strip Poker to look forward to. That is, if you like that sort of thing -- I don't, so I'm not overly enthused.


Presentation 44%

Lots of superfluous keypresses make any sort of interaction awkward. Poor title screen as well.

Graphics 32%
Dull backgrounds and equally rancid sprites.

Sound 49%
Rob Hubbard manages to audibly annoy throughout. The sound effects are just as bad

Hookability 34%
There isn't any except, possibly, for those who love Geoff Capes.

Lastability 29%
The game is difficult, the sort you never want to play more than a couple of times.

Value For Money 29%
There are cheaper ways of exercising your joystick muscles.

Overall 33%
Not at all worth the time of day, even for joystick wibblers.



Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (20 Jun 2005)

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