Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £5.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Stephen Evans
Under-water games seem popular themes lately. Perhaps computer games are echoing the scientific interests of the late 60s and early 70s where a disaffection with the space race resulted in a development of what was referred to as the 'Inner Space.' Rather than go whooping through the caverns of some far off planet in a laser-equipped ship, we're now diving under the oceans of the computer game to collect valuables from the sea bed.
In Glug-Glug you are fitted out with a hefty deep sea diver's suit which should be protection against all but the biggest giant squids - only it doesn't seem to be! The screen depicts the sky as a thin sliver of pale blue at the top, with your somewhat insubstantial looking boat floating above the black void. The diver is connected to the boat by his life-line and may be lowered to the sea bed. Left and right movement is effected by moving the boat above, with the diver haplessly following.
On the sea bed are several glittering golden objects per screen to be recovered by touching them and carrying them up to the boat, where, by some scientific sleight of hand, they disappear into the boat, so that your diver may return for the next object. He can only carry one at a time.
The sea is filled with wild life: small yellow fish which later gang up into shoals which would make Piranha look tame, squids, jelly fish, sharks and crabs. Fortunately the diver is equipped with a gun to shoot them, for if any touch him he's dead. The crabs are the worst in a way because they linger on the sea bed, below the effective line of fire. The more screens you progress through the more the fish proliferate, until it begins to resemble a zoo aquarium. Floating mines attached to anchored tethers also make an appearance and effectively prevent you from taking advantage of the wrap-around screen to escape the fishy attentions. Sharks also have the endearing habit of eating through your diver's lifeline, with unenviable results: Scoring depends on how many fish you shoot and how much treasure you recover.
Control keys: A/Z up/down, /SYM SHIFT left/right, SPACE-fire
Joystick: Kempston and Protek, AGF (cursor keys may also be used, if preferred, by selecting joystick mode on returnable menu)
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: smooth and detailed, very good
Skill levels: 32 progressively difficult
Features: sound on/off selection
The Piranha shoals act as though they had a heat-seeking ability, and head straight for you. Graphic smooth and detailed with some animation, and there is a good use of colour throughout. The game has an odd sort of addictive quality - I like it. With each screen it gets progressively more difficult and with 32 levels to get through it should take some time to master. My only criticism, on the negative side, is that the score line is too crowded so it's difficult to see what's going on.
Glug-Glug is almost a marine equipment of Ultimate's Jet pac, and it does have graphics of a very high quality, especially the explosions, which are very similar to those in Jet pac. A good, reasonably original, game with plenty of levels to play through.
With a few yellow tiddlers behaving more like goldfish than "denziens of the deep," but Glug-Glug works itself up quite fast into a difficult game. The graphics are entertaining and nicely detailed, which makes it enjoyable to play. The controls are well placed and very responsive. I would say that it should appeal on most counts and prove medium addictive.
Down on the ocean floor are goodies like gold, jewels and silver, and it's your job to go down there and get them. Naturally, the sea is full of vicious fish so you have to shoot them first, then bring up the treasure.
Mark: One look at the loading screen and you could be forgiven for thinking that this is another Scuba Dive. But you'd be completely wrong. The idea behind this game is very original. It's easy to play, and addictive. HIT
George: The graphics in this game are simple but very good. Although the idea isn't new, the game is still playable and worth buying. HIT
Mike: The diver is really easy to control, which makes playing the game a little more enjoyable than it might otherwise have been. The graphics are smooth and realistic. HIT
Joystick: Kempston or Protek
Don your diving suit, load your spear gun and prepare to do battle with the monsters of the deep. While you are down there, get rich quick by bringing up the treasure lying on the ocean floor. That is the basic story-line of Glug Glug, an arcade game by CRL for the 48K Spectrum.
Using the keyboard, Kempston or Protek joystick, the diver figure must be dropped to the sea bed as quickly as possible to pick up various items of plunder. The skill is in avoiding the animal life below the surface - piranhas, sharks, giant squid, jellyfish and the like, all of which are looking for a fast meal. If you are not fast enough with the gun and winch then it is Davey Jones' locker for you.
Instructions are laid out clearly on the insert and the graphic display is smooth and fast. The sound is suitably watery and when you are caught by the fish the diver vanishes with the requisite glug-glug. There are 32 skill levels according to the cassette insert. After level seven things hot up considerably and you will be lucky to get the whole way through.
MACHINE: Spectrum 48K
CONTROL: Keys, Prot, Kemp
FROM: CRL, £5.95
The final frontier is no longer space, but the mysterious world beneath the waves where strangely beautiful creatures glide up your mask and block your snorkel.
A little diver hangs by an airline from a boat on the surface. Armed with a spear-gun (and limitless spears), his task is to collect three items of treasure from the sea-bed beneath him.
There are 32 screens in Glug Glug, and the player's objective is the same in each one. The game isn't as easy as all that, though. In each screen there are all manner of marine nasties on the lookout for you.
Fish swim to and fro, jellyfish drift towards you, piranhas appear in shoals and follow you relentlessly, and crabs patrol the bottom of the screen.
As the game progresses you also have to keep an eye out for sharks who will attack your airline, and mines which rise up from the sea-bed at the end of long chains and block your progress.
As soon as you play Glug Glug you notice the resemblance with Ultimate's Jet Pac. There isn't a lot of difference between finding three pieces of treasure and collecting three stages for your rocket. There are also similarities between the two games' graphics and sound.
Glug Glug can be played by one or two players. It's made more enjoyable by a good choice of control keys, and it doesn't take long to get the hang of the game and start notching up some high scores.
CRL have produced a very playable game. The only possible objection could be that it is almost too playable and doesn't present enough of a challenge, but it's good fun and the later screens should get even the most hardened gamesters into deep water.
Kill the giant squids. Dodge the killer crabs. Avoid the hunting piranha fish. Grab the sunken treasure. If those activities appeal to you, Glug Glug from CRL is a computer game you will enjoy.
The player's role is that of a diver, leaping from a ship on the surface of the ocean, dodging or killing the aquatic wildlife, and returning to the surface with treasure found in the sand at the bottom. Once all the treasure on a screen has been returned to the boat a new, more difficult screen is produced, stocked with bigger, more dangerous creatures .
A strange feature is the use made of the wrapround screen which allows you to walk off the right-hand side and reappear on the left. It poses several questions. Why can many creatures move on and off the screen easily while the piranha fish appear to be completely confused by the wrapround feature? If all the sea is visible at any time, from where do all the new fish appear? More to the point, could CRL not have dispensed with an effect which shows half a giant squid on the left-hand side of the screen while the other half is on the right-hand side?
Glug Glug is produced for the 48K Spectrum by Computer Rentals Ltd. Tel: 01-533 2918 and costs £5.95.
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