Steve Wright. In the afternoon is protected under copyright – nineteen ninetee twoo… LEAVE IIIT!!
Unless you tune in to Radio One between three and six on weekdays you could be forgiven for believing that the cheap but cheerful adversaries of Doctor Who had dropped off the face of the planet.
Call it sentimentality, call it a cheap way of filling air time, but all things Who-like are going through something of a comeback at the moment.
Re-runs of the old Doctor Who series are popping up not only on UK Gold, which will readily show any old pap but also on the rather more credible terrestrial outlet, BBC2.
And now, to top it all, Admiral software – little brother of education and budget specialists Alternative – are releasing for our delectation the game of the favourite foe, Dalek Attack.
I remember when I was about four or five years old and Jon Pertwee was our erstwhile do-gooder from the planet Gallifrey. We got a coloured television around this time.
It took my mum about three weeks to peel me from the living room ceiling after I discovered for the first time that the monsters weren’t all black and white after all. Potty training was set back months, I’m telling you.
Like all Doctor Who fans, I was enthralled by the scary and futuristic- looking Daleks (this was around 1974 remember), but even at this tender age was a little confused as to how these robotic wash tubs could navigate a terrain full of potholes and contours on wheels the size of ha’pennies. Despite their dodgy synthesised voices and point blank refusal to adhere to even the simplest laws of physics though, the Daleks were, and remain the favourite and most recognised of all the Doctor’s adversaries.
Davros, the Dalek leader and part-time kebab shop proprietor, has wheeled himself out of retirement once again for yet more outer-planetary evil. Well, actually it’s more like inner planetary evil because he’s attempting to destroy the earth’s ozone layer with the help of his evil minions.
Somebody should have told him that the job’s already been taken – most of the population are undertaking it on a voluntary part-time basis – but anyway, that’s what he’s doing, and he’s happy, bless him.
As usual, it’s up to the Doctor to full this dastardly plan, doing what he does best, which is… er, just what does he do exactly, apart from run around forbidding landscapes with an assortment of hapless assistants, that is? Well anyway, let’s just say the Doctor must fall his plans, and leave it at that.
Dalek Attack is a five-level multi- scrolling shoot-em-up. Oops – no, stop right there – it isn’t a shoot-em-up at all, because if memory serves me correctly, Doctor Who is a pacifist. It’s a sonic screwdriver-em-up, this implement being the trusty tool that the Doctor is never without. Having said that, one blast from his screwdriver and the baddies certainly look dead to me – maybe they’re just concussed and suffer no serious after-effects. Oh who cares? As I was saying before I so rudely interupted myself, the game is set over five levels – beginning in London, we travel through Paris, Tokyo and New York before finally arriving on Skaro, home planet of Davros.
Each level is very large, and the whole game is quite a challenge from the start. Nothing much new to report in the gameplay area – dispose of the nasties (a large proportion of which are obviously Daleks) in traditional fashion, picking up bonuses and other useful items as you go.
The Doctor himself is a very versatile chap – jumping from buildings, hanging off ledges and scaling walls – poor old Sylvester McCoy would turn in the grave his career was buried in if faced with challenges such as these.
Speaking of Sly, he’s one of the three Doctors you can choose to be – the others being Tom Baker (complete with daft scarf) and Patrick Troughton. In two-player mode, you even have a choice of which assistant you want to take, although thankfully Bonnie Langford isn’t included. Good God – it’ll be Lionel Blair as the Doctor next.
There will be those who criticise the graphics for being flat. It’s true that a few parallax backgrounds could only have enhanced the game, but I was more than impressed with the level of detail, and the realism o! the city backdrops, particularly the part where the Doctor gets flattened by a New York yellow cab.
It’s not often we mention price tags in a review, the idea being that a game either will or won’t stand up on its own merits. Dalek Attack is an original twist on a tried and tested formula – at seventeen quid it’s outstanding value for money, an absolute must for all Doctor Who fans.
Dalek Attack is out now for the Amiga priced £16.99. Amiga Computing is also out now priced £2.99Categorised in: Merchandise, News