U-5544 has to be destroyed - it simply has to be, because it's a Radar Homing Nuclear Submarine! And there it is, damned well sitting somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.
So off you go in your rubber dinghy to destroy one of the most powerful and dangerous sea-going vessels ever created. What a brave chap!
The mission seems to be going well, bobbing jollity along the rough sea, when an odd looking purple jellyfish comes along. Only when rapidly flying though space with the ragged bits of your inflatable zooming past do you realise that they are, in fact mines (or very explosive jellyfish, at least). These, however, can be jumped over; the problem really starts when those nasty enemy people start bouncing past you on their jet-skis.
Not only that, but they're firing harpoons at you (now you know how the Icelandic whales feel, matey!). As if that wasn't difficult enough (believe me it is, it's nearly impossible!), the next stages include sharks, harpoon-wielding divers, and extremely 'ard octopodes (that's what the dictionary says is the plural of octopus, honest!)...
The game's second-half is altogether easier - the first is very nearly impossible (without POKEs!). The object to wound generals with your rifle - not the flame thrower! - and interrogate them to discover their computer access code. When you've got all the codes, you have to find a computer to tap them into, followed by the appropriate instruction (emerge, open door, etc). All these instructions in the right order and in the right places gel the desired results, and the game is complete...
Despite the second level looking very like Dan Dare, Nail Moves is an original, challenging game, and once the first stage is out of the way, it really becomes enjoyable. If it wasn't for the first half's unbelievable difficulty, Navy Moves would be a superb game - it took us days to get onto Level Two - and it's possible this may put off any but the most hardened arcade player. Nonetheless, it's very well programmed, and a game which should be persevered with!
'When I first saw it I thought it looked hard, and I was right. But what's the point in having a game that doesn't offer much of a challenge? At least Navy Moves will give you more lastability at this level of difficulty. What's likeable about all Dinamic games is that they come in two parts, and in Navy Moves part two is even better than part one, a great 'explore the different rooms' game in a similar vein to the Saboteur series. All the graphics are of the highest quality, there's plenty of colour... an of course a little clash. Sound is sparse with no tunes, just the odd effect, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the game. An excellent piece of software.'
Jeepers! If you really want to spend the rest of your natural lite glued to the Speccy, you could do a lot worse than try Navy Moves. It's ludicrously difficult, but unfortunately its also ridiculously addictive (birrova tongue twister there), so you may as well kiss goodbye to playing footie or doing anything normal this summer.
But there I go, jumping into things in the middle again. Let's rewind to the beginning and take a closer look at this game they re calling... quite tricky, actually.
Navy Moves, as featured on our cover a few months ago, is the follow up to Army Moves, the game that placed Spanish software house Dinamic firmly on the map (Somewhere just outside Madrid, I think. Ed). This time you leave your Jeep at home though, and take to the water in all manner of ways: first in a rubber dinghy, then with scuba gear and eventually inside a captured enemy minisub.
You play an SBS-type on a mission to infiltrate a full size enemy submarine, set a bomb and get away again. The game comes in two loads, the first taking you to your target using the various means of transport I just mentioned, the second being a platform shoot 'em up along the lines of Rolling Thunder that takes place inside and around the big sub.
Before you get within a minnows-length of that though, you've got to get through the first load. Those of you who played the demo on our March cover tape will remember some of this. You start with the fiendishly difficult jump-the-boat-over-the-floating-mines section - split second timing and many, many goes required here. Soon(ish) you get to a floating flag, and ... more of the blighters to leap! Yikes!
As if that wasn't enough, enemy commandos attack on wet bikes, and drive straight into you - good job you've got the spear gun handy, eh? Survive all that and you reach the correct spot to dive from, so underwater you go. It's no quieter down there though. Sharks, giant octopusses (or should that be octopii?) and even a sea monster tend to get in your way - pesky creatures - but eventually you get to capture an enemy mini-sub and drive it into the enemy sub base.
Whew! Deep breath, type in the access code and start the second load. You're dockside now, equipped with a flame thrower-cum-rifle and faced by all sorts of marines and navy types. Shoot them and they give you extra ammo, or - if you've managed to bag one of the officers - something even more useful like a key or a computer identification code. Don't shoot them and you're, um, dead.
This is a flip screen affair that lets you go in any direction, unlike the left-to-right scrolling of the first two parts. It's all highly detailed, very moody and colourful, if a bit jerkily animated. It's also tres difficult (I think you've said that before, actually. Ed) I also have to say that the controls were a bit ropey on my copy and I occasionally got stuck in a spot for not apparent reason. Ho-hum.
I know Dinamic has a reputation to uphold for making things a bit difficult and giving you a lot of game to get your teeth into, but I wonder if it hasn't made Navy Moves just a teensy bit too inaccessible here. Normally, I quite like the first bit of a game to be relatively easy and give you a few minutes to get into the mood, before the real meaty stuff that comes later -m here you're thrown right in at the deep end and it's, well, sink or swim or you're liable to turn turtle. (You're fired! Ed) Hmm. Getting a bit uppity this editor. I'll have to do something about that...
Still, well worth your loot if you don't mind never seeing the second level. I'm almost tempted to give away the access code right now so you get to the latter part of the game. But I won't. What a meany, eh?
Dinamic got themselves quite a reputation back in the late-to-mid 1980s for games like this one. Game Over, Game Over 2, Army Moves, Army Moves 2, Navy Moves. Freddy Hardest (and several sequels) and more besides all boasted big, cartoony graphics, bold swathes of colour splashed around, multi-section design (these were among the first games to use multiloading), and some of the most frustratingly difficult gameplay around. Most of the time, the games were very simple, very fast, and very tricky. But in the end, they were just too demanding and annoying for the majority of players to bother completing them. Navy Moves is no exception to these rules. There are scrolly-jumpy bits, horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up action, platforms-and-ladders sequences, and lots of shooting just to keep things interesting. Well, it keeps it interesting if you can get that far, anyway.
The problem with Navy Moves is that your chances of getting that far depend entirely on how much provocation you can take before wrenching the cassette violently from your tape deck and then jumping up and down on top of whatever's left for half an hour. Yep, this is one aggravating game, and indeed the only reason I'm reviewing it is that nobody else on YS could get past the incredibly irritating first section where you have to navigate a jittery speedboat across a choppy sea littered with deadly mines. If you can muster the self-discipline to get through this section, the rest of it isn't quite so bad, and the fast-moving action-packedness of things tends to take your mind off how many times you've actually been killed in the last five minutes. One for those of you who find nailing jelly to the ceiling just a little bit too easy.
There are very few things that make me furious and rabid with anger and despair. Games that are completely impossible from the very beginning come pretty close.
Navy Moves, the sequel to Army Moves, fact fans, is the latest offering from the people at Dinamic. They've always had a reputation for producing tough games, but I fear they've gone insane with NM.
The first section places you in a rubber dinghy, skittering along the surface of a dark and decidedly unsettled sea. You're on your way to the enemy base with a sackful of Semtex sandwiches with which to scupper the baddies' plane.
The route to the base - which actually doesn't appear until part 2 - is bloody difficult. You bounce along the water, jumping over deadly pink candyfloss, which we're told are in fact USSEX-12 mines, until you reach a safe zone, marked by a buoy. Easy? Hardly. The mines go on and on and on, and on and on and on. They come in twos and threes and on their own and they're always a slightly different distance apart. Whenever you're blown up by one, you go back to the start of the section. Most of the time there's hardly enough room to land your dinghy between the mines and you have to bounce along the water, jumping, jumping and jumping in order to get through. This stage is simply too hard. Playability depleting silliness.
Once past the first two waves of mines, you have to take on the real nasty types. Enemy troops on jetski bikes ride on from either side of the screen and fire harpoon guns at you. They also crash into you. Since there's virtually no room to move around on the play area, making enough room for yourself to turn around and fire backwards is maddeningly hard. IT'S TOO HARD! I DON'T LIKE IT!!
If you can control yourself and not hurl the joystick at the telly through ulcers and blood pressure worries, you'll get onto an underwater section where octopi and sea monsters are your foes.
Once you're inside the base, things begin to take a slightly more gentle turn. You run around the complex, dodging the agents and trying to get together the necessary goodies to blow the place sky high.
Graphically, we're talking a pretty high sophis' level. You can easily tell what everything is and everything is presented clearly. Although the play area is tiny and the scroll far from smooth, Navy Moves is far more attractive than most. It's a shame that the playability has been cursed with such a high difficulty level.
Label: Electronic Arts
Author: Dinamic Software
Reviewer: Jim Douglas
Bet you thought you'd seen the last of the enemy in Army Moves - if you ever managed to get to the end. Well you were wrong, chum. Those bad lads have gotten their sweaty paws on the top secret U-5544 nuclear submarine, armed to the teeth with the latest radar-homing torpedoes. Now they're intent on sailing into a major shipping area and causing all sorts of explosion-related havoc.
Time for you to take off that flak jacket a slip on your life jacket, as you take to the water and begin Operation Octopus; also known as Navy Moves.
The game is split into two parts. Part one contains three zones: the sea surface, with you going up against soldiers piloting brand-new six-speed Suzukis - very fast, very dangerous. Following that, it's time to search for the entrance to the base and capture a bathysphere, while at the same time doing battle with scubadivers and man-eating sharks.
Then it's into the bathysphere and on to the nuclear sub, trying to keep your head while those around you, such as giant octopi and sea monsters, lose theirs. Part two involves breaking into the submarine and placing a time-bomb near the nuclear reactor, before escaping with your life! Not only that, you'll need to recover identification codes from a variety of officers so that you can communicate with the sub's computer to open locked doors and suchlike.
Navy Moves looks very nice but, like Army Moves before it its just too difficult. You'll be killed time and time again for no reason other than frustrating gameplay and, after a while, it all becomes too much.
Label: Hit Squad
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Paul Rand
ALAN: I have to agree with Paul on this one. Navy Moves is quite a good looking game, it's just that it's too frustrating to play. Check it out if you liked Army Moves though.
All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB