REVIEWS COURTESY OF ZXSR

Into the Eagle's Nest
by Kevin Parker, Robin Chapman
Pandora
1987
Crash Issue 39, April 1987   (1987-03-26)   page(s) 109

High on a mountainside in Central Europe, a castle clings to its rocky foundation. An imposing fortress, the Eagle's Nest is important to the enemy - it's also vital to you. As a saboteur, you have just entered the stronghold, your mission has two aims - to infiltrate and blow up the castle, and to rescue fellow saboteurs held prisoner within it. You decide which is the most important.

The castle is divided into corridors and rooms on two different levels, with a connecting lift. The view is from above, looking down on the saboteur as you move him left and right, up and down, along corridors and through rooms. An increasing number of locked doors are encountered the deeper into the Eagle's Nest you go. But the necessary keys are to be found scattered randomly about the castle's rooms.

Being a temporary barracks, German squaddies swarm about the place, and when encountered, they fire off shots capable of wounding, and eventually killing -the number of shots that drill your on-screen body are displayed on the right. With 50 hits your fighting days are over. There's a plus point though, picking up the first-aid kits found about the castle extends the saboteur's life - in fact, it's quite amazing what a bit of sticking plaster can heal.

You're armed with a rifle which can be used either to kill enemies. or to shoot doors open. To stop soldiers, a single or double shot may be needed depending on the skill level chosen, but one shot is always sufficient to blast open a door. And it's always better to hide behind a wall and shoot around corners. However, ammunition is limited and must be replenished from time to time. Extra bullets are collected from stores found about the castle. Simply touching ammunition collects it, and can restore you to a full complement of 99 rounds. Monitor how much ammunition remains by watching the right-hand display. If stray bullets hit an explosive dump your life is in danger, one hit merely opens an explosive box, but a second destroys - both it... and you.

Much sabotage work has already been carried out by the men you are rescuing: they were captured before completing their task. If the explosive charges which they laid are found, they can be set off, and when a detonator has been activated it needs a quick getaway to escape the blast.

With this accomplished, the prime object of your mission has been achieved. But remember your secondary objective: to rescue and escape with your captured fellow sabs. When you have freed them from their prison cells, you become their leader and they follow you. But to survive they must be protected, thus complicating an already difficult mission.

And then there's your commanding officer - he's an art lover and wants you to recover stolen antiquities and jewels from the castle. Some of these have been left in obvious places by the slovenly Germans, but others are hidden in ammunition boxes.

Blowing up castles, rescuing prisoners and carrying works of art is pretty hard work, even for the best trained of agents. When physical and nervous exhaustion set in, food must be eaten to save you from severe fatigue. Look out for the plates of nosh, and simply touch them to eat. With this all done, you can trudge back to the secret rendezvous pick-up point, happy in the knowledge that you've had another successful day at the office.

COMMENTS
Control keys: definable, four direction and fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Use of colour: bright and attractive
Graphics: large, detailed and smooth
Sound: good spot FX, title tune
Skill levels: two
Screens: large scrolling play area


'What a great game... I'm well impressed, it has every-thing a good game should have, a good plot, marvellous graphics and sound and excellent gameplay. Stomping around the multiple levels, blasting away at 'Jerry' is great fun and I'm sure it will be for weeks to come. The graphics are large and well detailed, this gives the impression that the screen is uncluttered - even when there are loads of characters visible. There are plenty of sound effects, but also a horrible droning alarm noise on the title screen which is annoying. On the whole I feel that Into the Eagle's Nest is a touch over-priced, but worth it.'
BEN

'Yet another Gauntlet game... Yawn!! At least Into to Eagle's Nest contains something to do, unlike most of the trudge around type games, and it out-scores Gauntlet on one important point - graphics. Most impulse buying will take place by looking at the screen pictures on the front of the inlay, which is a pity as the game is nowhere near as addictive or playable as Gauntlet. The slow scrolling gets on your nerves after a short while. I loved all the little features like the toilets and dinner tables but these are just scenery of little importance in playing the game. A very attractive game and certainly worth looking at.'
PAUL

'If Pandora can keep the standard of their releases as high as this, then they surely have a successful future ahead of them. The graphics in Into The Eagle's Nest are excellent, although occasional flickers are noticeable on some of the characters. The 'tune' (note the inverted commas!) on the title screen is awful; after more than a couple of minutes, it really begins to grind on the nerves. But it's playable and addictive, with stacks of room to stomp around blasting everyone and everything. Worth getting as it represents good value for money.'
MIKE

Presentation80%
Graphics85%
Playability85%
Addictiveness78%
Value for Money79%
Overall82%
Summary: General Rating: Perhaps better looking than playing, this is still a first rate game with some original touches.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 64, May 1989   (1989-04-27)   page(s) 32

ATTEN... wait for it, wait for it... SHUN! Right, do you know why you have been called to this briefing? Well, you are the brave idio ... er, volunteer who has been assigned to this mission. The Eagle's Nest is a huge fortress manned by lots of German soldiers (well this is World War II, you know). A three man team was sent in to blow the place to smithereens, but they never returned. However, they did manage to plant explosives throughout the fortress, and your mission is to find the four hidden detonators and destroy the Eagle's Nest.

Drat, I haven't been able to put the joystick down since I started playing this game. The overhead-view graphics have some really nice touches: the mess tables, toilets, and bunk rooms are all depicted in great detail. One slight moan I do have is about the amount of explosives lying around - when concentrating on shooting the enemy, it's too easy to accidentally hit a crate of dynamite, ending the game. Even so, Into The Eagle's Nest is great fun to play and fantastic value at just two quid.

Then: 82% Now: 91%


Overall91%
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 17, May 1987   page(s) 35

You're the best. More than the best. The bestest. That's why you get the messy jobs. Like infiltrating the stronghold of a top enemy commander and rescuing three fellow saboteurs. Like blagging all the commander's loot along the way. Like wasting the seemingly infinite number of guards that're chasing after you. And then blowing up the whole shebang by setting off a series of detonators. It'll need the super-dooper-ding-dong-bestest saboteur on the team just to get past the firstest hurdle.

This is the background to your mission - growing troop movements (can't they get that seen to?) have been detected in what was previously considered a strategically unimportant area. Three spies were sent in, but although they were the best, they weren't quite best enough to avoid getting caught. This is where you come in (points at door).

Into The Eagle's Nest is the first game on Interceptor's new Pandora label, and it's no more than a huge excuse for another version of Gauntlet. Out go the wizards, spells and all that mystic bilge, and in come the atmospherics of an Alastair Maclean-type war film, probably starring Gregory Peck - but it's still the big G under any other name. The sprites are much larger and the backgrounds more detailed, and if there's any substantial difference between the two, it's one of emphasis. Gauntlet's one of the best and most addictive shoot 'em ups moolah can buy. Into The Eagle's Nest needs a little more strategy, and much more care.

For example, you start with just 99 rounds of ammo. Although you can restock fairly regularly, you're never in a position to spray bullets around in the luxurious way you could in the Glove. Similarly you can't let yourself get hit all the time, 'cos you'll be deader than dead - deadest, in fact - within seconds. Your 50th hit will be your last, and that's norralot when you're battling through this game. Keep clear of the guards, fire at a distance (it's just as effective) and use any cover provided.

Of course, with all this scenery and detail, it's no great shock that Eagle's Nest is a touch smaller than its forbear - eight levels takes much longer to complete, and may need revisiting, especially if you're planning to escape. As you move around the maze, you pick up keys (to open doors), ammo (15 round a time) and occasionally you'll find cold food and first aid to pep you up. Paintings and valuables are spread around - sometimes visible, often hidden in crates. Explosives are everywhere, and if you get that far, you'll eventually use them to blow up the castle. But they're also liable to go up, taking you with them, if you shoot at them - another food reason for being careful. On most floors there are detonators - fire at them as you pass, 'cos when you've zapped the last one you've not got long to escape before the whole place goes west. (That's the plan, y'see.)

It's all great fun, and a worthy addition on what's already a classic theme. It's nowhere near as fast as Gauntlet, but it's harder and more challenging. And it's fun to be zapping Nazi stormtroopers for a change (look at the cover if you don't believe me). So drop those wizard togs and let's hit those huns, ehm chaps?


Graphics9/10
Playability8/10
Value For Money8/10
Addictiveness9/10
Overall9/10
Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 39, March 1989   page(s) 41

Another welcome re-release, which originally appeared on Players' sister label Pandora, 18 months or so back. It's basically a Gauntlet variant, but with substantial gleamy brass knobs on. The setting's Nazi Germany, so if we could just pause tor a little goose-stepping practice (TOOM-CHUM-TOOM-CHUM-TOOM-CHUM). That's better.

Your mission is to get inside a highly fortified base, kill as many goons as possible, rescue your three comrades and then blow the whole place up. Simple? Could do it for breakfast. Actually it's extremely tricky, and requires superb timing and an almost psychopathic love of killing things. As in Gauntlet, you have to be careful about using things like keys to get around between the rooms, and there's treasure, food and spare ammo lying around too. Yup, ammo is not something to be wasted, partly because there's not much to go around, but also if a stray bullet happens to hit a barrel of gunpowder, ker-BOOOM! and you're as dead as Marie Stopes. An excellent game, with clear and attractive graphics and endlessly challenging gameplay Again, for a cheapie, unmatchable value.


Overall8/10
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash - Run It Again Issue 43, August 1987   (1987-07-30)   page(s) 44

Issue 39 (April 1987) Page 109

RICKY: For a first release, from Interceptor's offspring Pandora, this was pleasantly surprising. The main attraction is the graphics: large and very stylish, with the emphasis on the way light falls on the characters and their surroundings.

The Eagles Nest itself is a huge fortress - you've been ordered to rescue captives held within its walls and then blow it to smithereens. But the enemy aren't going to let you just walk in and do the job - there are hordes of soldiers, all armed and all to be defeated.

The eponymous castle is divided into four levels and seen from overhead, in the familiar Gauntlet fashion. Each level is a maze of corridors and rooms, littered with ammunition (you can also find treasures to boost your score).

Into The Eagle's Nest is the most graphically pleasing of all the clones, but when you're a bit fed up with looking at it the actual task can become tiresome, especially as you usually die rather quickly.

If you want a Gauntlet game that can be mapped easily, then Into The Eagle's Nest offers something, but maybe it's priced a bit high for what it is.

ROBIN: Writing this feature was the first chance I got to see Into The Eagles Nest, and I was impressed. The graphics are very good, more spectacular than those in other games of this ilk. And gameplay can be fast and furious.

There's a strategy element involved in determining when you're going to collect supplies which are not replenished, such as a medical kit.

The only real drawback of Into The Eagle's Nest is that it grows monotonous. If this were a budget game it would be worth buying - but you can buy a better Gauntlet-type game for this money.

Then: 82%
Now: 70%


Overall70%
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 60, March 1987   page(s) 28,29

This is the stuff! Pure Alistair Maclean Where Eagles Dare-style. The sort of We-want-a-futile-heroic gesture - in-you-go aw don't-come-back mission that makes the blood run cold.

Somebody has to infiltrate the Nazi headquarters, located in an eight-storey castle. That somebody is you, suicidally solo and armed only with a rifle and limited ammo. And of course the place is crawling with stormtroopers.

There are three saboteurs to find, held somewhere in the dungeons. You have to liberate the commandant's private collection of antiquities. And, if you can see your way to doing it, the allies wouldn't mind if you blew the base into a billion pieces with a well timed explosion before leaving!

This is the sort of game that you play with a stiff upper lip, a supple joystick wrist and burnt cork all over your face.

Behind the gung-ho heroic plot lies a single-player Gauntlet-style program, and one that surprises its medieval inspiration.

For a start, the graphics are bigger. Bigger, yes, but clever planning has all but avoided attribute problems. Quite how they've done it I'm not sure, but it's almost like those notorious clashes don't exist. The scenery's pretty atmospheric as well, with dark corridors, iron doors which require keys, wooden ones which can be shot away, officials at desks... You really have a sense of being in the thick of it. There are even toilet cubicles, which you can blast open!

Despite this detail, the landscape still scrolls. It's not a continuous, smooth scroll - it only moves when you reach the edge of the screen - but the programmers have played fair and, providing you keep your finger on the trigger, you should have time to nix and Nazis as they appear on-screen.

The other main difference from Gauntlet is gameplay. While the swords and sorcery epic concentrates on slashing and blasting, there's much more strategy to Eagle's Nest. Direct contact with the Hun adds fatal hits at a drastic rate. If you're to survive for any length of time you'll hand around corners and make full use of narrow passages, taking pot shots as they charge you.

You'll also need to make a map, because not all rooms are useful, while some routes take you back on yourself, and you won't want to dawdle in these surroundings. It's worth noting where the supplies of food and life-restoring medicine are, as well as the ammo boxes, because few things are more embarrassing than finding yourself surrounded by the Bosh without a bullet to your name.

Like all the best infiltration epics, the secret of success is a clear plan of action. Don't stand around when you don't need to and don't get involved in unnecessary battles.

However many of the enemy you take out, more will always appear. Most importantly, don't wander aimlessly from level to level, because when you return you'll find that all the doors you carefully opened are shut again, making the trek to the stairs even more hazardous.

Finally, salute the touches that mark out the care taken with this program. You can choose between silence, 48K sound or enhanced 128K music and effects.

There's also a Load Data option on the opening menu's, so that new adventures can be launched at a later date.

All in all it's quite a pleasant jaunt into occupied territory, Gauntlet-style.

We've not heard much from Interceptor recently, but into the Eagle's Nest is a great way to launch their Pandora label. The action isn't quite so frantic as Gauntlet's, as it's geared to tip-toeing secretly round, but it's fast enough and the strategic elements should give it a longer life.

Accept this mission and buy this game.

Label: Pandora
Author: Kevin Parker and Robin Chapman
Price: £8.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Jerry Muir

*****


Overall5/5
Summary: A Gauntlet-style game that outdoes the original with great graphics and strategic gameplay. Terrific fun - buy it.

Award: Sinclair User Classic

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Computer & Videogames Issue 68, June 1987   page(s) 36

MACHINES: Spectrum/Amstrad CPC 464/664/6218/CBM64
SUPPLIER: Pandora/Interceptor
PRICE: £8.95

A biting north-easterly wind swirls down the valley carrying the distant echo of anti-aircraft fire. Below, on the valley floor, a convoy of armoured trucks snakes its way up towards the fortress, aptly named The Eagles Nest.

As a result of recent high enemy activity in such a strategically unimportant area, four of top men were sent into The Nest to find out why it was suddenly crawling with the enemy.

Their orders were then to destroy the fortress but three were captured almost immediately. The fourth was able to place explosives in the key places throughout the fortress. Unfortunately he too was captured before the charges could be detonated.

Eagles Nest is a four-way scrolling arcade adventure very much in the Gauntlet/Dandy/Druid mould but far superior to all three.

Set in a fortress heavily infested by enemy goons, that seem to reproduce at an alarming rate, our hero can run through corridors, into store rooms, toilets, bathrooms, motor-bike sheds, interrogation rooms, and even the guards' lounge.

Eagles Nest differs in two key areas from the other programs mentioned above.

Firstly, the scale of the graphics is far larger than Gauntlet where you can see a substantial area of the dungeons surrounding your character. Here you control a sprite perhaps six or eight times the size of those in Gauntlet and consequently he is seen in far more detail as are all the other characters and objects found throughout the castle.

Once the game has loaded you are given the choice of four missions, three of which involve you in rescuing your men, who are being held prisoner down in the dungeons. In the fourth mission you must locate and activate all the explosive charges planted earlier.

You start the game with 99 bullets (the maximum you can carry) but no keys. It takes two bullets to kill each guard (one in the Spectrum version in the "easy" mode) so you soon start to get a little short.

Fortunately, the fortress is strewn with green rectangular ammo dumps, each of which contain ten bullets. As with all objects in the game, just walking over an ammo dump is enough to pick up the bullets.

Apart from liberating your comrades and blowing the place to smithereens, your secondary mission is to reclaim as many treasures from the commander's private collection.

These include paintings, boxes of gems, vases, and pendants. Collecting treasure increases your score but has no other effect on the game.

The layout of the fortress is completely different in each of the versions because the programmers wanted to squeeze every drop out of each host machine.

Thus the C64 and Amstrad versions have four floors while Spectrum owners have eight storey's to blast their way through.

Lifts should be used with extreme discretion because, not only is there only one pass per floor, but also the doors you're just painstakingly unlocked will be locked again if you return to the floor you're about to leave.

If you've elected to blow up the fortress, you must locate and activate the hidden explosives on each floor. When rescuing the captives you must first find each one and lead them, one at a time, back to the ground floor and freedom.

Understandably, your rescued comrades are sometimes a little slow to follow you, having been shackled to a stone wall for a week, so be careful not to go too fast or there'll be lost off the screen.

On the minus side, the status column, on the Amstrad version, can only be seen when the game is paused. This makes it more difficult to succeed as you never know quite how many hits you've got in hand or whether you're about to fire your last shot.

Although there is a small chance you may experience slight flickering in certain situations in the Commodore version, it is more or less faultlessly produced and an exceedingly playable.

Overall the Commodore version of Eagles Nest is the best of the three.

The game can be played on two levels, either as a mindless blast with no overall plan of action, or as a mindless blast with some idea of how you've going to succeed. Highly recommended for arcade and arcade adventure freaks everywhere!


Graphics9/10
Sound7/10
Value8/10
Playability9/10
Award: C+VG Hit

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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