£8.95 cass, joystick with keys
64-screen psychedelic arcade-adventure
is one of two aardvarks to be released from Virgin this
month and there's little doubt that Strangeloop
is the hotter of the two.
game takes place within a maze of 64 locations and although
this isn't as large as most aardvarks currently available,
it's certainly as complicated.
task, as a knight in not-so-shining armour, is to discover
the mystery of the mind. To gain access to this phenomenon,
you need to pass through the Gates of Dawn with the
four required objects -- iron, stone, fire and ice.
These, amongst other useful objects, are scattered about
the maze in certain locations.
location is displayed as a 3D view into the screen with
the walls bearing garish patterns and colours, giving
the whole thing a 'psychedelic' look to it. Most of
the locations contain, along with any objects, nasties
of various descriptions.
you move from room to room, a chessboard radar/map shows
your position in the maze. An arrow below this map indicates
the direction you are facing and it becomes important
to keep an eye on this later in the game. When actually
going through a doorway into another location, you are
presented with a great, full screen picture of yourself
running through a stone doorway.
knight will be killed by the spinning slab
unless you move. The chessboard in the top
right maps out your progress.
start the game with five lives, a strength of 10,000
and a sword. Lives are lost through contact with certain
nasties and strength likewise. If you should lose all
five lives, or your strength should fall to zero, then
your quest and game is over.
sword can be used to fend off nasties, providing it's
at the top of your inventory list. Your inventory list
is a list of up to five objects currently carried, the
object currently held being highlighted at the top of
object can be examined, dropped or used in some way.
Pressing the relevant key will present you with the
menu of commands available. You then have a short time
limit to select one of these commands for execution.
EXAMINE gives a small description of the object, while
DROP drops the currently held object. The USE command
allows you to perform an action with the object held
eg. eat, drink, pour etc. You do this by selecting the
option and typing in the action you wish to perform
at the bottom of the screen.
graphics in Gates of Dawn are good, but some
of the sprites lack in attention to detail. Sound too
is pretty good with some unusual effects but a grotty
title screen tune.
are several humourous touches throughout the game, mainly
in the form of little messages on some of the walls.
Also, eating a certain mushroom gives the very amusing
effect of seeing nothing but mushrooms! Every object,
every nasty, even the things in your inventory, become
mushrooms and are treated accordingly!