by Simon Freeman, John Darnell, Nicole Baikaloff, Janet Porch
Mastertronic Ltd
Crash Issue 33, October 1986   (1986-09-25)   page(s) 114,115

In the days of the wild and woolly West times were hard. If you happened to be the sheriff then times were doubly hard as people tended to have a healthy disrespect for anything or anyone in authority. In this game, Kane must try and make peace with the Indians and keep law and order in his town. Kane needs a steady hand, a sure eye and a fast gun. What with runaway trains, ghost town ambushes and the perils of the prairie, he really has his work cut out for him.

The game is divided up into four sections, each of which must be completed before you can progress to the next one. There is a practice mode, where you can flip through all the screens before playing the game for real.

Section one involves shooting birds with a bow and arrow the feathered ones are traded with the Indians for lives in the later stages. Kane starts with ten arrows and loses one for every bird that is missed. Every time he hits a bird, the number of arrows in his pouch stays the same. The birds are shot by lining them up in the mobile sights before pressing fire. Points are scored for every bird impaled.

Section Two is a ride across the prairie. With his trusty steed beneath him, the sheriff must jump the obstacles which present themselves in his path. A misjudged leap results in the horse throwing Kane and a life is lost. If the treacherous patch of prairie is negotiated then Kane arrives in a deserted ghost town. But is it really deserted? Some mean outlaws start taking pot shots at you. You reach for your gun and start blasting.

Ten baddies in the town must be shot. The number of men killed is shown in red on the left hand side of the screen, while the number of mean critters left shooting at you is shown on the right. Kane has six bullets in his gun and must run to the right of the screen to get more bullets. Baddies pop up from the saloon, the bank and the general store and need to be shot before they disappear or shoot you instead. Once all ten baddies have been sent to Boot Hill, you can progress to the Train Journey in section four.

A train is out of control and only you can stop it and save the helpless passengers. Kane has to negotiate another nasty piece of prairie, strangely similar to section two, jumping over all the obstacles on his trusty nag. The train must be caught up with and stopped within a certain time limit and once the passengers are safe, the first level of the game is complete.

There are three levels to the game, each increasing in difficulty and speed. Have you the guts and determination to clean up the Wild West or will you end up on Boot Hill instead?

Control keys: Q up, A down, N left, M right, Z fire/jump
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: Average
Use of colour: good, lots used
Graphics: not amazingly good
Sound: spot effects
Skill levels: three
Screens: four

'MASTERTRONIC seem to have taken their time translating this on to the Spectrum - and to be honest they shouldn't have bothered. Eye-wise the game is fairly attractive, with lots of colour on the screen and some smoothly animated characters. Sound just consists of a few spot effects which are very accurate but sound lonely in a game that doesn't involve too much frenzied activity. The first stage - shooting the birds, is very inaccurate and I found my arrows constantly going straight through the belly of the bird without affecting it at all. The first jumping stage is far too easy and getting past the 'shoot-out' stage is a doddle, but the final jumping stage proved far to difficult to warrant plodding through the first three parts. The game is very basic and doesn't require any brains at all. Kane may appeal to the younger games player, but whether even they will be addicted enough to load it up again is very much in doubt.'

'This game suffers from a lack of screens. It would be fun if there were about ten more sections to battle through. As it stands, there isn't really any lasting interest after completing the first four screens, which are very easy. The graphics are a mixture of nicely animated lumpy characters and garish colours which, on the whole, fail to please the eye. The sound is also a bit limp. There are no tunes and only a few spot effects. I don't recommend the game as it gets very monotonous after a short time.'

'I can't say I like Kane much. The graphics are pretty bad, and the game lacks enough content, despite its four stages, to make it addictive. Playability wise, Kane is lair, but even for £1.99 it doesn't seem like much value for money. The horse riding sequence isn't exactly difficult, and the gun fighting bit isn't any good at all. The first part is probably the best. and even that isn't up to much. Though it might just be fun for a while, I don't think Kane is really worth the money asked for it.'

Use of Computer46%
Getting Started59%
Addictive Qualities47%
Value for Money53%
Summary: General Rating: Not terrible, but nothing special, either.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 11, November 1986   page(s) 34

Hog dang it boys, it's cowboys and injuns ime in the good ol' Wild West! Your job, as Sheriff, is to make peace with the Indians.

In the first stage, for some reason, you have to shoot birds, which you do using a targetting system designed by a squint eyed hillbilly. Line this up with a bird and you'll miss every time! if, by some remote chance, you hit three of the pesky things, you're rewarded with a peace token and you get the chance to go on to the next stage.

This involves you galloping into town on your trusty steed, avoiding cactus bushes on your way. Once there, you have to shoot it out with the local desperadoes - not an easy task as you're back to the silly target system, and your foes are tiny and very hard to see as they pop in and out of buildings. Once you've wiped them all out, you have to gallop to the front of a speeding train to stop it - only then will the Indians agree to smoke the peace pipe!

There are three levels, with the action speeding up the higher you go. The backgrounds are luridly coloured, making it hard to see what's going on, and there are some awful attribute problems. Added to which, it gets dreadfully repetitive! Anyone with any games playing experience will find this no challenge at all. Good for shooting practice only!

Value For Money2/10
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 55, October 1986   page(s) 55

Kane is a wild west arcade game in four sections. Although mostly one to file under the 'dire' category, there is some oddly effective animation here and there.

I like games where there is no serious attempt to impose a plot on what is obviously a plotless game. There are four sections, but apart from being wild west orientated there is no other link between them so you can regard them as separate.

Game one is a duck shoot, apparently the Indians like them so bagging a few earns you extra lives. Position the cursor to sort out your fire angle and work out when to release your bow. Nice animated figure of the bowman - everything else stinks.

Game two is running and jumping on your horse, dodge the rocks by timing your jumps, tedious but very nice horse animation.

Game three is a shootout, you stand, poised in authentic wild west manner in the middle of town, and from shop fronts, roofs and behind buildings outlaws suddenly appear - shoot them before they shoot you. The animation is again quite effective, and I think this is probably the best part of the program.

The last section is more horsey running and jumping, though this time your objective is to reach the front of a speeding train. Same comments as part two.

Kane is nothing special, even in a budget range, but the occasional flashes of effort, as evidenced in the animation lift it a few notches above the run of the mill. I wouldn't actually recommend you go out and buy it though.

Label: Mastertronic
Author: John Darnell, Simon Freeman
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor


Summary: Dull wild west potporri - really four games in one. Redeemed here and there by some good animation.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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