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There's not a lot I like about
Biggles. The music isn't too hot (WEMUSIC have certainly done better), the graphics are small, poorly defined and chunky, and the game itself is rather repetitive and boring. The first three games have very similar objectives, and although they adopt different approaches, they are all very 'samey' and monotonous to play. The fourth game (on the flip-side) isn't too bad, but all in all Biggles doesn't merit the 9.95 price tag.

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Oh dear, another film tie in; another hero that looks like a blob; another game that takes something decent and turns it into something less than decent. Somewhere along the line the game itself has been lost. Average is being merciful. For 9.95 you don't really expect to get something that just scrapes average. I wouldn't buy it, and if
Biggles is on your shopping list, I recommend that you look at it first.

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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!
Biggles
1986 Mirrorsoft Ltd
Programmed by ?
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: June 12th, 1986).
 

BIGGLES
Mirrorsoft, 9.95 cass, 12.95 disk, joystick or keys


You've read him in writing, seen him on celluloid and heard him on the wireless. Now play the game of WE Johns' famous WW1 hero, Biggles, on the Commodore 64. Tie game has two sections, both of which are loaded independently from one another. The first section, called Timewarp, has three separate sub games and the second, the Sound Weapon, is a sort of helicopter fight simulator with a purpose.

The first of the three sub games in the Timewarp program plonks you in the seat of Biggles' WW1 Sopwith Camel biplane. Flying low over scrolling enemy territory in Scramble style, you must avoid ack-ack fire and other enemy fighters who try to shoot you down (although you can shoot them down too). To complete the section you must find and photograph the enemy's new horrible new secret weapon.

The second stage is a sort of Green Beret clone where you must delve deep behind enemy lines on foot. Loads of enemy soldiers try to stop you, but luckily you're armed with your trusty old machine gun and a couple of grenades. As you move right the screen scrolls to show more landscape until you eventually reach the secret weapon.

The final sub-game is another scrolling affair and takes place in London, 1986. Biggles has got the secret code (which will help him in the Sound Weapon game) and he and his chum have to escape from the police, but the only way to do so is for them to leap from rooftop to rooftop. You control them both and pressing fire switches the control from one to the other. The big problem encountered is that the screen can't be scrolled if one of the chaps is lagging behind. The other big problem is the guards who troll atop the various roofs -- if one of them touches either hero you lose a life.

Throughout this side of the program Biggles is randomly thrown from situation to situation, which can be quite unnerving at times. When he dies, by either being shot down, shot by an enemy bullet or being touched by a guard, Biggles is automatically thrown into the next sub game.


[This screenshot was not in the original review]

The other program in the Biggles package is a 3D point of view helicopter flight simulator with added bits. The objective of the game is to find and destroy the enemy's secret sound weapon which is achieved by flying around enemy and Allied territory and picking up various objects and people. The helicopter can carry up to four people and four objects simultaneously; it's up to you to suss out which objects should be carried to whom and when.

Controlling the helicopter is done in the usual flight simulator fashion and there are a load of cockpit displays to help you keep aloft. To help you locate the various personages and objects, two maps are made available to you -- radar and detailed. The radar map shows the whole battlefield area, and you are depicted as a flashing group of pixels. The other map shows in detail the area immediately surrounding you and displays the location of enemy troops, people and objects.

If you manage to destroy the sound weapon then you'll save the day and keep the evil Hun from winning the first World War!

     

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The film looks great -- unfortunately the game isn't. In fact it's awful. The timewarp game is horrible and frustrating to play, especially the jumping from roof to roof bit -- you just seem to drop off for no reason at all. The other side isn't much better and becomes very dull once you've flown around a couple of times. The graphics are uninspiring and the sound, although not one of WEMUSIC's best, is about the best part of the program. I'd prefer to be a hero elsewhere.
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Presentation 70%

Pleasant enough title screen, complete with WEMUSIC ditty, and good instructions.

Graphics 41%
On the whole, chunky, bland, and lacking in variety.

Sound 79%
A couple of WEMUSIC ditties play throughout
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Hookability 56%
The four separate programs are easy enough to get into...

Lastability 50%
...but they're quite difficult and generally lacking in variety.

Value For Money 43%
Although there are four separate games in this package, none of them are that good.

Overall 48%
Nothing special.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (17 Jan 2006)

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