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Lovely graphics, shame about the game. The two sections of the game basically boil down to being a
Bumping Buggies derivative and a poor Nodes Of Yesod type of thing. The music on the title screen is alright, but the rest of the effects are crummy. Take a look at it, but don't be seduced by its slick graphics.

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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!
ICUPS
1986 Odin Computer Graphics
Programmed by Robert W. Tinman
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the sixteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 10th, 1986).
 

ICUPS
Odin/Firebird, 9.95 cass, joystick or keys


ICUPS is, or rather are, a bunch of terribly decent fellows who spend their time preventing mankind's masses from being blown up by any evil and marauding aliens. They're a talented bunch of guys and are good at their task, consequently it's no easy job getting drafted into their elite ranks. Many budding ICUPSsters fail on the road to becoming an ICUPS commander, but you, who have had compulsory conscription for ICUPS training, aren't going to fail are you?

After months of training you're ready to tackle the ICUPS training ground -- complete it and you'll become a commander. Fail and it's back to the dole queue. The training course is split into two sections, the first testing your flying skills and the second a commando mission into an alien environment where you have to recover and assemble the four pieces of a computer. You're only given three chances at the mission; throwing away the three chances results in instant expulsion from the ICUPS academy.

When the mission starts, a tug rocket pulls your nimble craft onto the screen and then whizzes off, leaving you alone in the void. What you have to do is fly up the vertically scrolling screen, dodging the various suicidal and bomb dropping robot ships. To complete the first part of the mission you have to get through three separate stages, each stage getting progressively harder, making you rely more on your offensive missiles and bumping abilities to reach the end of the stage.

Once you've completed the flight stage you're automatically transported to the second part of the course, a sort of mini Arc of Yesod with a jet pack. What you have to do is make your way around a large, flick-screen map and find four bits of the computer. When you find a piece it can be picked up by blasting the top off its container and moving your man over it. When all four pieces have been recovered, locate the central computer room and assemble them there to complete the training. Sounds easy, but the complex is infested by horrible aliens which sap your energy when they touch you. If they stay close for too long then you lose a life. Luckily they can be shot; just press fire to blast them to bits. He he he.

     

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I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the title screen music -- a direct rip-off of the Mighty Bogg's Detergent, and a rather poor rendition at that. Small wonder that Bogg has virtually given up writing tunes. Disgusting. Anyway, title screen music aside, ICUPS is a fairly mediocre game. The first stage struck me as being a soft of Bumping Buggies variant (yawn) -- the second stage is like a simplified Nodes/Arc of Yesod, and soon palls. I'm surprised that Odin have come up with such a weak title -- at least the graphics are up to their usual standards, ie very good, but that's no reason to buy the game.
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Presentation 75%

Nice on-screen presentation and a couple of options.

Graphics 85%
Very pretty sprites and backdrops.

Sound 51%
Poor rip-off of a good Bogg tune and weak effects
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Hookability 65%
The great graphics attract...

Lastability 46%
...but the horrible game repels.

Value For Money 46%
A tenner's a bit steep for what it offers.

Overall 49%
The first poor offering from the Odin stable.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (17 Aug 2006)
Only the second of the above screenshots existed in the original review.

Can anybody rip the SID tune out of this one?

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