Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £6.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Charlie, Paco & Fernando of Indescomp
These are the authors who brought you the colourful Bugaboo (The Flea). Red is an intrepid explorer who goes about collecting valuable treasure from tombs, in this case the Pyramid of Tootiecarmoon. The insides of the Pyramid take the form of a very large maze, several of them in fact. This isn't a maze in plan, but a vertical cross section, so Fred is forever going up, down or left and right. He goes vertically by way of the numerous ropes hanging from the ceiling far above. The playing area only shows a small fraction of the whole maze and scrolls along with Fred in the centre.
Naturally this venture is fraught with problems in the shape of rats, which must be jumped at the right moment, acid drops (from the decomposing mixtures of the Egyptian magicians), ghosts which go through walls but change direction when shot, mummies that fall down the vertical shafts and can teleport when they land or get hit by a bullet, vampires which can be shot (silver bullets no doubt) and of course the ubiquitous skeletons which chase relentlessly and can only be stopped with a shot.
All these horrors not surprisingly drained Fred of power. Only by drinking the magic elixir of Nefertit or reaching an exit can Fred's power be regained. Fred is armed with a gun and six shots, and may be aided by finding a map to the tomb. Bonus points are awarded for picking up the various treasures.
There are six screens of increasing difficulty, but there is also an option to redefine the maze and numbers of monsters.
Control keys: Q/W = left/right, E/R = down/up, T to fire, or user-definable
Joystick: Kempston, but most others via user-definable
Keyboard play: fairly responsive, positioning of Fred must be accurate
Colours: good, muted colours
Graphics: very good
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: percentage of damage
Screens: Continuously scrolling through six tombs
The game has great animation, especially that of Fred himself, and the graphics are generally excellent. Even Fred's revolver recoils when it is fired! There isn't a lot of colour but what there is makes a good balance and creates atmosphere. It isn't an easy game to play either, which makes it addictive and great fun. I hope Indescomp bring out much more software. I think I spotted two bugs; on several games I didn't start with any bullets, and in one game the scoring went mad, so that I scored every time I moved. I eventually ended up with, wait for it - 818,300 points! I like this game!
Because of the general design of the maze and because you can only see a small part of it at any time, this is quite a difficult game to play. I like the graphics, Fred is excellent, and it all seems like fun, but in the end I found it a bit boring. Later screens certainly get very busy, but at the end of the day the thrill factor wasn't very high and I think Bugaboo was better.
I should think there's a danger that with a name like 'Fred' lots of people won't think it worth buying. Which would be a shame, because it's a very good maze game, original and fun to play. I didn't think it all that addictive, however, but still well worth a go.
You are Fred, a fearless archaeologist, and must work your way round the pyramid in search of ancient treasure. It's not quite that simple as there are ghosts, vampires and acid drops which all try to hinder your progress.
Mark: This is quite an original maze game that has an unusual twist. The speed is just about right — fast enough to keep you on your toes. 8/10
Tony: A game which includes many novel twists. Its use of graphics and colour is very good and the overall appearance is just about perfect. 9/10
Jon: This is not a particularly new idea for a game, but it does have superb graphics which are large and welldefined. The instructions on the insert, are very clear and precise, and this makes the game addictive, easy to play and very user-friendly. 8/10
IN FRED, from Quicksilva, which runs in 48K you are invited to guide the intrepid hero round such a dank and deadly charnel house. Fred journeys along the passageways by way of the keyboard or a Kempston joystick and ascends shafts by ropes provided conveniently.
The main aims are to collect as much loot as possible and also to find your way from the tomb. That is not a simple task, as the guardians are constantly on the prowl; some, like the ghosts, can pass through walls or teleport down the shafts.
The cartoon-style graphics are attractive and colourful, the passageways scrolling as Fred moves across or climbs the ropes. Motion is smooth and you can define keys to suit your taste. It is a game which takes ingenuity and care to get through and is novel in concept. If you shoot at anything which moves you will not survive for long without more ammunition.
Fred will not appeal to those seeking fast, furious, violent action but it is well-designed and fun to play, though it may not be addictive in the usual sense. Watch for flying mummies.
MACHINE: Spectrum 48K
You'd hardly expect the explorer of an ancient maze of tombs to be called Fred, but make no mistake, this chaps a hero.
Surrounded by ghosts, rats, acid drips, mummies and chameleons, he has to fight his way out of the maze and pick up treasure at the same time. Makes Raiders of the Lost Ark look like a family picnic.
He may not forgive me for saying so, but the nicest thing about Fred is the way he moves. He spends a great deal of his time climbing up and down ropes, and this he accomplishes in great style.
His leaps too are very athletic, done with arms and legs outstretched. He needs to do this to avoid the rats, who otherwise, like all the other nasties, will deplete his power reserves.
Ghosts and mummies, on the other hand, must be shot or fled from, acid drips must be dodged with careful timing and chameleons avoided by taking care which way he faces while climbing ropes.
As you control Fred's movements you can see only a small part of the total maze and unless you find a map must simply guess at the right path to take.
Even if you don't find the exit, you may come across treasure which will prolong your life, and grant you points if you can escape with it.
The maze is different every time you play and if you do escape you get a new one with more nasties.
One nice feature is that a single key is used for Up and Jump. This greatly aids control.
All in all, Fred is a delightful game and a delightful chap. Well worth a trip to the tombs to meet him.
From the people who brought you Bugaboo or Booga-Boo, depending on which computer you play it on, comes another feast of Disneyesque graphics.
The screen display present you with a vertical maze of glowing blue stone walls, around which the intrepid Fred wends his weary way in search of the treasures of the Pharaohs. Yes, I know we have done the Pharaohs at the bottom of your garden joke.
Fred shins up and down ropes, avoiding contact with rates, acid drops, ghost which can go through walls, chameleons, mummies and vampires. He has a gun and six bullets.
There are six screens, increasing in difficulty, followed by the option to return to the first screen, or redefine the maze and number of monsters.
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