Monday, 25 April 2011

Game Reviews - Tusker on the ZX Spectrum

About time I actually started to do some reviews I reckon....first up, Tusker on the old Speccy, mainly because it was on top of my games pile, staring up at me! Right, what's the story with this one then....


Your father was a great explorer, traipsing around Africa having spiffy adventures and staring danger in the face on a regular basis...you however, have been a bit of a disappointment to him. You prefer to stay at home and write his diaries and act as his biographer rather than follow in his footsteps. You had no wish to experience danger or horrible, icky insects...and sand would get in your undies and everything! No thank you!

However, 3 years ago, your father's mutilated corpse was found floating down the Turkwel River, skewered to a native raft...he had finally met his match. Whilst attempting to write his memoirs, you stumble upon his private journal, and reading through it you discover his life-long quest...to find the treasures of the Elephant's Graveyard ! 2 pages have been torn from the back, but there remains a clue that his last port of call was Nyahururu....

Suddenly filled with a totally uncharacteristic (but helpful for the plot) desire to find out what all the fuss is about, you decide to hurry off to Africa and pick up the trail....


Upon starting the game then, you find yourself stood in a desert, seriously under-equipped...maybe you rushed off a bit too hastily! You take a wander and find the place populated by Arabs intent on ending your little jaunt before you've even had a chance to get properly going...a swift couple of kicks to the groin should see them off until you find some weapons! You also have sandstorms to deal with, and as they have no groins your best bet is to try and avoid them...

Graphics are pretty good and a mix of colourful backgrounds and monochrome sprites, but your character does run like he's had an "accident" in his trousers and looks a bit on the portly side too! There's no music, and sound effects are never more than functional, but what is there is perfectly fine.





For some reason, when I used the joystick I found it incredibly difficult to connect any kicks or punches. It seemed like the game was having trouble receiving the inputs. It does appear to be difficult to hit opponents whilst they are hitting you anyway, and can be quite annoying if they start really smacking you as there's nothing you can do to stop them. But having retried it with keyboard controls I got a lot further and found the game a lot easier! Dunno if that's maybe my Speccy's fault or the game in general, but if you have similar problems with the joystick give the keyboard a bash....

Clearly influenced by Indiana Jones, Tusker is filled with puzzles and traps and you'll need to really use your brain to work out a few of them. I personally even have difficulty getting off of the first level without a solution, but you can look forward to dealing with slug-type monstermen, witch doctors and monkeys...you'll have to hunt around for the right objects for the job.

It does all add up to a quite enjoyable if flawed little adventure, and if you persevere with it you might end up liking a game that feels more like Indiana Jones than any of the actual spectrum Indy games. For me though, it's just a bit too fiddly to control and difficult...the Effalump's final resting place can stay bloody hidden!

Tusker - System 3 -

WOS page = Tusker

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Cinema Of Stuff - Evil Brain From Outer Space !!

Here's a classic from 1964....A monstrous evil brain from outer space leads his minions on a crusade to conquer the universe, and unleashes hideous monsters on Earth that spread deadly diseases. Superhero Starman must rescue Earth from the menace of the evil brain while battling armies of monsters the brain sends against him.





IMDB page....http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058072/

Sunday, 10 April 2011

THE DINOSAUR AND THE MISSING LINK

King Kong's ancestor comes a cropper in Willis H O'Brien's 1915 animation....

Out Of The Inkwell - The Ouija Board (Max Fleischer, 1920)

Was bored and decided to treat you to some animation.....Here's a nice little silent cartoon from Max Fleischer, produced for the Bray Studios in 1920.