Phantomas


by Enrique Cervera Mateu
Dinamic Software
1986
Crash Issue 35, December 1986   (1986-11-20)   page(s) 34,35

Phantomas' task in this game is to hunt out a millionaire's mansion and plunder to his heart's content. But before he can indulge in this financial fantasy he must face many dangers and, solve the odd riddle or two.

All these weird and wonderful creatures must be avoided because they sap Phantomas' essential life energy. And as he only gets one life you must ensure that this energy doesn't go down to zero or the game will be prematurely ended. Phantomas's life force is indicated by a coloured bar at the bottom of the main screen.

There are 36 levers on the planet Earth-Gamma. Each of these levers must be triggered. These levers are scattered throughout the labyrinth and Phantomas must switch them by jumping into them. Most of the levers are p protected by the moving nasties. Some of the other levers however, take some hunting for. Rides in helicopters and space rockets are just some of the ways Phantomas can be transported to these remote areas. Some of these locations are rigged with traps, like the huge rampaging boulder he meets after the helicopter ride. When Phantomas triggers this switch it releases a huge boulder which will crush the poor pilferer unless you're quick on those running keys and can get him successfully out of the screen. Once all 36 levers have been switched an alarm bell will sound Phantomas will get a big strong box (presumably to carry his treasures in) and secret doors will open.

COMMENTS
Control keys: definable
Joystick: Kempston. Interface II, Cursor
Keyboard play: Probably easier
Use of colour: rather jolly
Graphics: rather flicker in places
Sound: A really good un-Spectrumy tune at the beginning. Basic sound effects throughout
Skill levels: one
Screens: 80 separate rooms


'Phantoms, is lots of fun to play and quite addictive for a short while. It is very well presented and includes lots of well designed features; such as the tune at the beginning and all the little animated objects like the coat hangers and radar towers. Phantomas is very colourful and contains loads of little but detailed characters - the clouds are very good. Even though Phantomas is another in the massive group of arcade/adventures I found it a great little game.'

'Another Aardvark from CODEMASTERS and his time it's a goo one (horay!). Controlling your bloke can be a little confusing at first as there are two types of jump which are virtually identical. The graphics are small and undetailed but they are adequate. The sound on the other hand is very good, there is a lovely tune on the title screen and many admirable effects during the game. This isn't at all a bad given the price; recommended.'

'Help! Not another platform game! I seem to have done almost nothing this month except review this sort of thing. And it's getting to me. Phantomas isn't the worst of the lot though. The graphics are quite good, if very similar to its predecessors, and I enjoyed playing it to an extent. Platform games have never really appealed to me, but I think that Phantomas is a reasonable version on a far too old theme.'

Use of Computer: 66%
Graphics: 66%
Playability: 61%
Getting Started: 64%
Addictive Qualities: 62%
Value for Money: 70%
Overall: 64%

Summary: General Rating: Indifferent little aardvark.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 12, December 1986   page(s) 52,53

What d'you get it you cross Jet Set Willy with Daley Thompson' s Decathlon? You get what? Leave this page at once, that's positively disgusting! Of course, you get Phantomas, one of the first releases from a new software house called Codemasters. And for an opener that won't rock your pocket. It's not at all bad.

Yes, it's JSW only the sprites are a bit bigger. Plenty of nasties going up and down, plenty more going from right to left and plenty of platforms so that you can avoid them. Only one life though, but you can replenish your energy by picking up the little coloured squares that are scattered around the screens. And there are plenty of screens.

You play the thief, Phantomas, out to 'alf-inch the jewels hidden on the planet. But first you have to get hold of the strongbox they're kept in by switching 36 separate levers. So, it's jump, dodge, switch on, swan out. Like all good platform games, it comes down to timing - in this case, have I got time for just one more go?

But why? There's nothing really remarkable about the game. On a scale of one to ten it scores minus four for originality. Even some of the sprites are stolen straight from JSW. But it's fun with a capital Ph. And it's full of good things. Like the music. One of those tunes that you end up humming weeks later. Like Phantomas, a real nobody of a computer character. No body, just a head on a pair of feet. Like the variety of screens. Each one holds the promise of a surprise. And yes, like Daley Thompson. On one of the screens you're whisked away in a helicopter and deposited on a planet surface with yet another switch. Throw it and you're told that to run you need the keys V and B. Now run. If you don't you're squashed flat by a large rolling boulder. No body, no head, no game.

This is one of the best arguments I've seen for still comparing budget games with the full-price stuff. There's a couple of days solid playing here at a quarter of the price. Sure, if you're heartily sick of Willy clones, steer clear. Otherwise, give it a spin. It doesn't rate a megagame; not nearly original enough. And it has a few annoying faults that would've been ironed out of a full-price game (I hope).

But i'll play Phantomas again. Phor the sheer phun of it!


Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 7/10
Value For Money: 9/10
Addictiveness: 8/10
Overall: 7/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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

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.


Graphics: 4/10
Playability: 3/10
Value For Money: 5/10
Addictiveness: 3/10
Overall: 4/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 58, January 1987   page(s) 50

If I have to bounce my way around any more mansions looking for treasure and dodging obstacles I may go mad.

Phantomas, one of the first releases from Codemasters, a whole new software label, has finally sent me over the edge...

Screen after screen of funny (ie not funny) shaped objects hopping backwards and forwards, objects you need to collect that flash, things that must be jumped over. It goes on...

I can't stand many more cute characters either. This one like an orange with feet and a beret leaps around unpredictably, the way the jump button is pressed seemingly having little relationship to the height of the jump.

I tired too of backgrounds constructed of featureless bricks and steps that don't have any function because you can jump over them.

There is, I suppose, something to be said for the sheer volume of material in the game, there are screens and screens of it. Three sections: one is a sort of junkyard of odd vehicles and rockets, the next is the palace and then there's the underground world.

Eighty different rooms it says on the front of the box. proudly. Well, different is stretching a point a bit. It's more a case that the silly sprites all come in various guises...

Label: Code Masters
Author: Enrigue Cervera
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joysticks: various
Reviewer: Grhaam Taylor
*


Overall: 1/5

Summary: Another sub-Manic Miner budget bounce 'em up. No real original thought has been put into it but it's huge.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Computer & Videogames Issue 64, February 1987   page(s) 45

MACHINE: Spectrum
SUPPLIER: Code Masters
PRICE: £1.99

Code Masters must be using some sort of games designer program for their Spectrum games. The similarities between Phantomas and Vampire are many.

The graphics are similar in style. Clouds in both programs are identaical.

The gameplay in both is very similar. Even the way the energy levels are represented are the same and the rate of descents are identical.

You play the part of Phantomas who comes from a far away galaxy. His only abilities are to rob and plunder wherever he goes.

As Phantomas you must find the hidden treasure in the millionaire's mansion.

To do this you must travel to the planet Earth-Gemma and search out the mansion using helicopters and planes.

When you arrive at the mansion you must always be on the look out for trouble which includes boulders that chase your To help you in parts of the game there are riddles on the game cover.

This is a good game but it is too much like Vampire. Let's hope they can find a new set of graphics to use in the next Spectrum release.


Graphics: 6/10
Sound: 3/10
Value: 5/10
Playability: 6/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue January 1987   page(s) 38

Codemasters
£2.99

Phantomas is a mutant. No ordinary mutant mind, but one specialising in robbery, plunder and pillage intended for use in the battle of the red moons on Alpha Centauri, his talent for eluding capture has worked against his manufacturers and Phantomas escaped, becoming a free agent.

Stories of great wealth abounded in the local press and one that particularly caught his eye was details of the miser Goldter's horde secreted somewhere in his mansion on the clone planet Earth-Gamma. Naturally, the mansion was designed to be burglar proof, but a little thing like that had never stopped Phantomas before.

The mansion comes in three different parts. Parked outside are a variety of flying craft which will transport you to assorted outposts. Then there is the palace itself and an underground complex. In order to 'liberate' the strongbox, Phantomas must find and throw thirty-six levers scattered about the house and grounds. There are also jewels to be found but you must first solve two riddles if you are to succeed. The game features many other little twists. When you fly off in the helicopter, you see a switch lying next to a pile of machinery. Pull the switch and you are immediately pursued by a giant snowball. The only way of escape is by rapidly hitting two keys a la Daley Thompson's Decathlon.

Energy cubes lie all over the place to replace whatever you lost in unfortunate collisions with the nasties. Another nice touch which separates this from run of the mill platform games is that Phantomas has two distinct types of jump available to him - a long jump for added distance and a high jump that enables him to leap tall buildings (well small obstacles really) at a single leap.

There seems to be a trend at the moment for mixing platform games with arcade adventures in order to produce a new hybrid and Phantomas is definitely towards the top of the range. Full of original and inventive ideas, the eighty screens will keep you hunched over your keyboard for many a long hour.


Overall: Great

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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