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"Games of the Week!"


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It is beyond my comprehension why companies such as Firebird release this kind of trash. Is there some kind of rule which states that every fifth piece of budget software released has to be mindnumbingly boring? Even at two quid this game (!) is ridiculously overpriced, and I feel that I must urge everyone not to touch this -- not even with a ten-foot sterilized joystick.

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Oh dear! Terrible graphics, terrible sound and terrible gameplay -- what on Earth are Firebird up to? The first section of the game is so slow it's ridiculous, and after playing it for a while you just want to turn it off. The platform part of the game is a little better in comparison, but it's still very dull indeed. Don't buy it.

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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!
Freak Factory
1986 Firebird
Programmed by S.W. Sorsbie
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the seventeenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 21st, 1986).
 

FREAKY FACTORY
Firebird, 1.99 cass, joystick only


This game has all the elements of a Victorian melodrama. It stars an evil Professor who spends his days shut up in a laboratory making all kinds of nasty and gruesome creatures. You play a dashing young hero, out to save the world from these meanies. Agent One of the Galactic Police Force is your status, and your mission is to penetrate the prof's factory and destroy the five monster machines which are located in his maze of monster infested dungeons.

The factory is entered by travelling in a lift which takes you to the first floor. From there you must make your way through the caverns, avoiding the gargoyles which try to suck out your energy when you pass them. There are also spiky platforms and laser beams which deplete your energy in great quantities when touched. Fortunately, there are several energy rods lying around which can be collected to boost your energy.

Each laboratory consists of a pseudo platform game, and it is here that the professor's assistants lurk. You can avoid their touch by jumping over them, but if you come into contact with one you must fight it to the death by waggling your joystick as fast as you can.

Progress through the platform game is hampered by the machines which produce the nasties, and steam-driven generators pumping out jets of smoke which hurtle you back from whence you came. An assistant can be found on each floor, and once they have been disposed of you can proceed to the next platform level via a hole in the floor.

     

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The main fault with this game lies in the instructions which are very obscure and only give a very rough outline of your objective. The caverns take ages to get through because the gargoyles rip away your energy far too fast. These can only be overcome by moving between them one at a time before their eyes glow, making the task very laborious. The platform game is quite fun, mainly due to the fact that there is a reasonable amount of action. The graphics are generally blocky and not appealing at all, and the diabolical tune which drones on and on only makes things worse.
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Presentation 42%

Obscure instructions make the game unplayable.

Graphics 40%
Blocky sprites and bland backdrops.

Sound 39%
A few tunes, but none of them are inspiring
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Hookability 35%
Trying to work out how to play the game is offputting.

Lastability 23%
Too slow and boring.

Value For Money 32%
Even at two quid it didn't freak us out.

Overall 28%
Give it a miss.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (4 Oct 2007)
Only the first of the above screenshots existed in the original review.

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