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Saboteur is great and more than makes up for the boring Critical Mass. It's playable and fun, but I feel that more could have been done with the graphics and sound, especially the spot effects. Nevertheless, Saboteur is a very good game, in fact Durell's best to date.

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This isn't brilliant, but by no means awful. The game is quite good fun and trying to complete the task becomes quite time consuming but once you've done it, it tends to pall. The graphics are wobbly and the sound made us laugh -- Sab clanks around the place like he's wearing cast iron boots and the tune on the title screen is thoroughly awful. If you're interested take a look.

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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!
Saboteur
1986 Durell Software
Programmed by Branko Spoljaric
 
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).
 

SABOTEUR
Durell, 8.95 cass, joystick only


Being an ace toughie Saboteur certainly has its ups and downs. One minute you're bashing your way through the Iranian embassy, the next minute you're being asked to rescue a computer disk which is being held captive in a high security fortress, cleverly disguised as a warehouse. Now work has been a little slack lately, so you think you'd better go and get the disk; it shouldn't be that difficult to retrieve and you could do with the money -- its little Johnny's birthday soon and he does want that Action Man with the kung-fu grip.

The mission brief tells you that the disk holds the names of rebel leaders and it's imperative that it should be found. You're also told that there's a bomb in the fortress which has to be primed and left ticking -- and all this to be accomplished before the disk information is sent out to various outlying terminals! The big catch is that the fortress is heavily guarded by armed patrols and watchdogs, as well as an automatic defence system which monitors your position and lobs bullets at you.

Your mission starts with you just climbing out of your silent rubber dingy onto a pier leading to the warehouse entrances. Dressed in your cool black SAS gear, hobnail boots and with your face bootblacked, you have to penetrate the fortress and achieve your goal.

Initially you are weaponless, so any weapons have to be picked up on your travels (they can only be used once, though). You're no mug when it comes to this saboteuring business and you have a degree in hand to hand combat with honours in the killer punch and drop kick -- useful for disposing of guards when you don't have a weapon at hand.

The fortress covers many screens which flick as you move from location to location. Saboteur can move anywhere on the screen as long as the ground or ladders allow him. The security complex is split into three sections: the warehouse front, the sewers and the computer complex. A helicopter can be found in the warehouse and this is to be used as an escape vehicle; there is no way out otherwise. The sewers and the computer complex are linked by a tram system, a compulsory journey since the disk and bomb are located in the computer complex.

While you're battling away through the fortress your progress is charted via two screens. The main one shows you and the room you're in and the other, at the bottom of the screen, shows your energy, objects carried and score. When the game starts the energy bar is filled to the brim, but as you get bashed by the various adversaries, bitten by dogs, lasered or shot, it depletes. If it reaches zero you're dead, but don't despair, being a super toughie means that your energy tops itself up if you remain unscathed for a while.

The game is played for money, not points, therefore the more guards you kill the more money wings its way towards your Swiss bank account. If you want to play for b-i-i-g money then you should aim to escape the fortress with the disk and the bomb primed -- a big financial gain awaits a Saboteur who can do that. There are nine levels of difficulty with the fortress becoming more and more heavily guarded as you tackle a higher level.

     

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As conversions go this is a bad one. It's just been plonked onto the 64, and Durell haven't taken any advantage of the extra facilities the machine has to offer. However, the game is still the same, and as with all the other versions it's a very good game indeed. Though a little simple to solve, the extra levels should provide enjoyment for quite some time. I suppose it could get dull after a while and I'm a little dubious as to its value for money, but all in all, definitely worth looking at.
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Presentation 83%

Nine levels of play, high score table and good instructions.

Graphics 65%
Big, but not brilliantly animated characters and unimaginative backdrops.

Sound 37%
Really bad title screen ditty and only a few in-game sounds
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Hookability 80%
Great fun to play at first . . .

Lastability 70%
. . . but rather limited in the long run.

Value For Money 71%
A reasonable price for an above average game.

Overall 75%
Durell's best yet on the 64, but a shame they didn't make the fullest use of the machine's capabilities.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (15 Aug 2006)

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