Diary of a Game
Lee Enfield in the Tournament of Death Zzap Review
• Infogrames, £9.95 cass, £14.95 disk, joystick or keys
Lee Enfield is in the Count of Savoy's Castle, where the Holy Shroud is guarded by the soldiers of the Yellow Shadow.
He's on a mission to find the relic before the Yellow Shadow destroys it. Armed only with his fists, he explores the flick-screen castle in search of objects to assist him. The screen display occupies approximately one quarter of the screen, the rest consisting of a static shot of the hero and his adversary.
Three kinds of opponent are the main obstacle to progress: foot soldiers, guards and bears all attack on sight. Pressing fire and wiggling the joystick makes Lee punch his opponents until their resistance fails. During a fight, his strength and health are shown as two level indicators.
First impressions are of instant disgust as you realise that the playing area takes up a huge quarter of the screen, the rest taken up by a stupid kid's drawing of a knight in putrid armour. Mind you, this flaccid excuse of a picture seems almost good when you take a look at what's in the playing screen. Vile, gaudy blocks of colours swill around in an aimless, carefree manner evoking an instant feeling of nausea. The gameplay stirs the bile in a similar way as Lee, fashionably dressed in lurid lego bricks, jerks unresponsively around the landscape. Examining objects is a joke — manoeuvring him close enough to one is difficult enough, but they're so badly drawn, you can't tell what they are anyway! The final insult is the price tag...
It's hard to know where to start criticising this game, since every aspect of it is awful. The most obvious point is the horribly minuscule screen display, characterised by its garish, gaudy and indistinct backdrops. The combat sequences appear more like some hideous dance to the annoyingly atonal music, which whines its miserable way in an endlessly repeated sequence. The control method is very awkward: pushing the joystick left or right shoves the character a few 'yards', and examining objects can be very frustrating as a result. If you see this on the shelf, run past it.
If you have any idea what should go in this box, please let me know! :)