REVIEWS COURTESY OF ZXSR

Phantomas 2
by Alfonso Azpiri, Emilio Pablo Salgueiro Torrado, Nigel Fletcher, Santiago Morga B., Snatcho
Dinamic Software
1986
Crash Issue 35, Dec 1986   page(s) 37

Producer: Codemasters
Retail Price: £1.99
Author: Emilio Salgueiro

For many years now the Planet Earth and it's surrounding space stations have been terrorised by Count Oracular. The appearance of this gothic character in the space age year of 2987 is strange enough for a start, but Oracular has not come alone. By chewing at the necks of earth's inhabitants, he has recruited his own army of vampires, these are in turn feeding off the people of Earth.

Armed with only a poem about Vampires to help him, our hero - Brok - sets off to tackle the vampires. His aim, to find the stake, the hammer and the cross which will dispatch the blood- lusting count and his nasty adversaries. The castle has two sections, there's the underground system of dungeons where it's dark and stuffy and, if he can get that far, the surface part of the game. The Count is a crafty devil and has been expecting such a visit. He has rigged the entire castle with all manner of strange traps to destroy the brave Wok.

Brok only has one life in the game and this is represented by an energy chart at the bottom of the screen. Brok's energy decreases every time he brushes against one of the Count's minions. When this chart reaches zero the game is over.

Brave Brok moves around the castle on his feet, although he does possess a very high leaping facility (and a not so high jumping facility) which can take him out of danger now and again.

Brok must find three keys as he toddles around the labyrinths. There are also certain objects which must be collected in order for Wok to progress through the game. And, finally, there are the three objects which will finish off the Count once and for all. Evil cackle.

COMMENTS

Control keys: Definable
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface II
Keyboard play: easy to confuse the two types of jump
Use of colour: fair
Graphics: adequate for a platform game
Sound: spooky little tune at the start of the game with some spot effects throughout
Skill levels: one
Screens: 80 different rooms


Blimey! Another game from the CODE MASTERS, they must be working overtime! What we have here is another budget arcade adventure. The main character is a very small bloke that trudges around in a very simple fashion. The things that he encounters in his quest range from some very simple one direction arrows, to well animated bubbles and fiery candlesticks. Vampire is a well presented game, but it is let down by flickery graphics and simple gameplay - but not a bad effort.


No sorry I've given up with this one, it's just too frustrating to play anymore. I was looking forward to it, as Code Masters other games aren't at all bad but this has certainly changed my view of them. I suppose it's not too bad. The graphics are fairly good and there is some colour clash but what do you expect for two quid? There are plenty of budget games around that are a lot more playable than this so I wouldn't really recommend it.


Aw no! Not another one! I'm going to sit in a corner and moan if companies keep on producing games of this style. Argh! I'll be forced to play aardvarks all day. Urgh! A word of warning to soft houses; I hate this sort of utterly boring, run of the mill, sub-standard, average game. Very sorry Code masters, but I don't think that this game is very good at all. OK?.

Use of Computer58%
Graphics60%
Playability46%
Getting Started49%
Addictive Qualities47%
Value for Money58%
Overall51%
Summary: General Rating: Another slight variation on a rather tired theme.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 12, Dec 1986   page(s) 65

Codemasters
£1.99

It is a bird? Is it a plane? It is Superman? No, it's Brok the Brave doing the old two footed jumps and flying through the air as if he was on sky hooks.

You play the unfortunate Brok the Brave, who, apart from his ability to jump proportionally higher than a flea, hasn't got a lot going for him. For poor old Brok was trapped within the high security planet Hawkland until some bright spark offered him this job. So off he was packed to Earth where his task was to free the planet from the terrors of Dracula. A strange mixmatch, methinks. Still, well give them the benefit of the doubt, huh?

Okay, so you've got to find three keys while avoiding the nasties. Hang on, hang on, before you go any further - haven't we covered this plot somewhere else? You also get the standard bonus points for collecting anything and everything that flashes. Corny, I know, but if it flashes the masses know what's going on.

Well, compared to other platform games it matches up quite well, and it's difficult enough to keep interest going. The only thing it really lacks is any new creative ideas.


REVIEW BY: Pete Shaw

Graphics5/10
Playability4/10
Value For Money4/10
Addictiveness5/10
Overall5/10
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 18, Jun 1987   page(s) 93

Code Masters
£1.99

Code Masters' one-company campaign to revitalise the platform game has certainly had its moments, but this ain't one of them. Vampire's another attempt at the Dracula legend, but this time transferred lock stock and laser bolts to the 30th century when the thirsty Count has somehow managed to take over the world. You are Brok the Brave, as played by Peter Cushing, I imagine. Dumped in the counts castle it's up to you to fight past all the various nasties, pick up crucial objects like keys, crosses and stakes, and finally knock off Dracula to save the world. All fine and dandy, except that to do this you have to play a multi-screener of stultifying boredom and breathtaking unoriginality. It's slow, flickery and prone to crash at any moment, and everything about it is at best third-hand - the sprites, the gameplay, the screens, the lot.

So my main question is, what is Vampire doing in the charts at number 10 this month? Has the world gone mad? Code Masters can do so much better - so why is it bunging out tat like this? Count Drac would turn in his grave.


REVIEW BY: Tommy Nash

Graphics4/10
Playability3/10
Value For Money5/10
Addictiveness3/10
Overall4/10
Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 64, Feb 1987   page(s) 45

MACHINE: Spectrum
SUPPLIER: Code Masters
PRICE: £1.99

I would recommend this title just for the loading screen! The game itself is just above average by today's standards.

You play the part of Brok a space warrior. Your task is to search earth in the year 2987 to find and destroy Count Dracula. To succeed in this task you have to find three keys to open doors, a list of key objects which enable him to progress through the labyrinth.

When you find Count Dracula you must have three special items with you. These are a stake, hammer and a cross.

The graphics have been well thought out and take it away from the average run of the mill arcade adventures. Sound is limited to spot effects and an eerie piece of music on the title screen.

The cassette inlay includes a clue packed poem which gives pointers to items required in the game.

Vampire is a slightly above average arcade adventure. Check it out before you buy.


REVIEW BY: Brian

Graphics7/10
Sound4/10
Value7/10
Playability7/10
Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue 33, Jan 1987   page(s) 39

Codemasters
£2.99

Bored with his dally existence of drugs and therapy sessions, Brok the Brave is more than pleased to hear from an emissary from Sol 1 who proposes an interesting mission.

Earth and its space stations need liberating from the terrors of the evil Count Dracula who has the entire population in a state of continual nightmare. Glad of any chance to escape from his humdrum life on the high security planet Hawkland, Brok readily accepts the challenge and is transported to the entrance of the Count's castle.

Vampire is a platform game with arcade adventure overtones set over some eighty screens. Your first problem is one of survival. Starting with only one life, contact with various nasties or flying arrows soon reduces your energy. Mistimed leaps can plummet you into pits from which there is no escape and areas of the castle seem inaccessible until you collect certain items necessary to move false walls. Flashing items of food provide welcome extra lives and there are keys to be collected en route as well.

Just finding Dracula is not enough. He must be destroyed using the traditional stake, hammer and cross but you must also solve a complex riddle included in the instructions which involves finding a room where no light will reach.

As Brok moves around the castle (there are both surfaces and underground areas to explore), he can leap obstacles in both large and small bounds which brings another element into the gameplay. Jumping is done automatically in the direction that you are facing so that there is no need to find those tricky diagonals on your joystick. There is some latitude for moving Brok whilst in mid-leap.

The game's graphics are excellent featuring highly coloured backdrops and a whole variety of castle furniture. Playing Vampire is difficult - your route is not intended to be an easy one - and I found considerable initial frustration at my inability to get anywhere before I lost all my energy. But perseverance pays oft and slowly, further areas of the castle are revealed. A good, challenging game.


OverallGreat
Award: ZX Computing Globella

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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