'The Rocky Horror Show' was a cult stage play and an even bigger cult film in the States. where night after night for years, the same audience would sit in the theatre repeating the lines in unison with the actors, dressed in the same type of clothing crazy. It was a crazy film, and the game actually does go a long way in recreating the atmosphere and sense of madness, which is to its credit.
If you are one of the last people left on earth who knows nothing of the 'Rocky Horror Show', film or stage play, then you might be forgiven for not knowing what is going on. Good, middle class American youngsters, Janet and Brad, through some mechanical defect in their car, end up in this weird house for the night and one of them gets turned to stone well, it'll do for a start.
It's entirely up to you whether it's Brad or Janet who gets stoned by the wicked Dr Frank'n'Furter and his dreaded Medusa machine, but clearly the least solid of the pair must do the rescuing. The task ahead is simple; guide the rescuer around the house and find the pieces of the De-Medusa and put it back together, then you can wipe that rather stoney smile from your partner's face and run like blazes. Of course finding the pieces isn't a piece of rock cake, you need to look for them and that means opening doors and that means finding keys the right keys. And while you are lurching around this rather attractive period dwelling you are going to be chased by quite a few people who would rather you didn't, and they have some pretty mean ways of expressing their preferences, like killing you. If you are lucky something might just walk up to you and say something silly like 'I didn't like my Teddy!' or 'it's just a jump to the left.... ' These remarks seem move Brad and Janet into a state of total confusion (know how they feel) and after a few more from the right sort of person that confusion moves up a grade, to total death.
The De-Medusa is made up of fifteen separate bits which must be collected piece by piece and deposited in the chamber next to your stiff friend. At the start of each game you find that the characters and the vital pieces have all been left in random locations around the house. While there are fewer than fifteen rooms within the house, some rooms have more than a mere lock to get past, the worst being a strange electric beam. The beam removes your one and only life if you get too close it can be turned off but it's a bit tricky. Your other problems move around on their own, they are the characters of the play and each one of them will have a lasting effect on you. The Butler (Riff Raff), for example, is nuts, he wanders round all day long complaining that nobody loves him while at the same time he is trying to zap you. One of the girls, Columbia, simply strips you naked when you bump into her. Eddie is a chap/thing who is particularly unpleasant. He was one of Frank's failed experiments. Fortunately he spends most of his time in the freezer, unfortunately the freezer doesn't work that well, the thermometer at the base of the screen lets you know when he is thawing out.
Oh one last point, the whole house is a space ship, yes it is difficult to believe but there you are. From your arrival you have 99 time periods (that's not as long as it sounds) to rescue your mate and a run for it otherwise by then, you see, Frank will have grown tired of your feeble efforts and left for home. Apparently Frank is this guy from outer space and he wears the wrong clothes, well that seems to explain it all.
Control keys: A/Z up/down, N/ M left/right, Space to fire Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair and Protek
Keyboard play: fine
Use of colour: a bit one tone but avoids clashes
Graphics: very effective, despite some oddities
Sound: pleasant effects
Skill levels: 1
Screens: about 14
'On the whole this is a very appealing game to play, the backdrop of the house is great, the animation is superb, I particularly admired the manner in which the characters moved around of their own free will, and around objects. The way the screen changes from one room to the next is very smart. But something has come out of all of this cleverness, bugs, I'm sure of it. On two occasions when I died and sent Janet back she appeared at the starting position, the hall, but in the hall was the lift from the other end of the house and one of the electric beams from the floor above. Well being the adventurous sort I got in the lift, guess what? it went DOWN to the floor on which I got in it. Other annoying things tended to happen. The motorcyclist could be seen momentarily as part of the front door, he would appear again, just for a flash, in the dining room. This business about the clothes I thought one of the characters was meant to steal them yet you can be quite happily wandering across a room and woomph - you're stark staring naked. The electric beams are tricky yes, but more often than not you can get killed when they are not on and that makes it a lot more than just tricky. Very nice game shame about the bugs'
'Unfortunately due to my not being able to receive Channel 4 I missed the 'Rocky Horror Show'. I assume that the game follows the same theme but in any case it's a good game. CRL have used some nice graphics. I found the collecting of bits a little repetitive after a while. The hero sprites went into some weird dance routines on occasions. I regret not being able to understand the point of the whacky conversations but even so a playable game but not that addictive'
'It's about time CRL produced some decent software, especially now they've gone public, well maybe The Rocky Horror Show is a new leaf. The idea of the game (getting the De-Medusa machine parts and putting them all together) is quite simple really, although a little long-winded. Some puzzles are a little tricky to solve at first but become apparent enough as you progress through the game. The graphics are of high quality, detailed and there are no attribute clashes between the moving characters and the backgrounds. It looks as though lots of people are starting to copy Gargoyle's Tir Na Nog style. After playing the first few games, I noticed that there is no score - a little bit off-putting because you don't know how far you have got through the game. Overall quite a playable game and definitely the best CRL have produced, and hopefully not the last. I don't think it will take too long to solve once you've got going.'
"Oh Brad, what have they done to you? An hour ago you were plain old Brad Majors, and now - now you're nothing more than a stone figure.
"Oh, if only we hadn't made this journey..."
But you did!
"If only the car hadn't broken down...""
But it did!
"If only we were amongst friends."
Two outa three ain't bad!
And that about sums up any semblance of plot the game might have. Now it's up to you to save Brad and his girlfriend Janet from a fate worse than working on YS...
LET'S DO the Time Warp again and enter the mansion of Dr Frank 'n' Furter.
So here's the plot. Your beloved Janet, or Brad - depending on whether you're male, female, or just don't care - has been pushed into the Medusa machine, the evil doctor's ready-made cement mixer. Your job is to find the 15 missing pieces of the De-Medusa machine.
The bits are scattered in a few rooms around the two storey mansion and you can pick only one at a time. You then carry it onto the stage and fit it into the machine's flashing frame. The rooms contain laser beams, yin and yang symbols, magic mushrooms and hypodermic syringes, so be careful. You will also have weird characters with which to contend.
There's Riff Raff, the manic depressive butler who serves electrifying experiences. Magenta will take off all your clothes. Is that the ultimate computer experience or a cheap thrill?
The other characters include a groupie, Columbia; Rocky Horror, a Furter creation who appears in odd places; and biker Eddie, whose bag is deep freezes.
Some characters will kill you immediately while others have comments to make about life and death.
The animation has not been handled as well as it could have been. If several characters are moving on-screen the action is slowed down.
If you enjoyed the film and want to play a better than average take-off then CRL will be in your favour. I found it weirdly addictive.
Joystick: Kempston, Protek, Sinclair
THE TIME WARP sounds rather out-dated now, and the game doesn't look so hot either.
Probably the only reason why CRL has bothered relaunching this 128 edition is so that it can add the sound from the Commodore 64 version. In practically all other respects nothing has changed.
The film, of course, was something of a cult hit, with cinema audiences going ape - speaking the lines in unison, and throwing toast and confetti at the screen. Reduced to the confines of a Spectrum, even with 128K, what you get is a bunch of bizarre characters mouthing mumbo-jumbo - "That's not the candlestick you're holding" - which has minimal significance even if you've seen the movie.
The game is actually very simple. You are Brad - or Janet - and you must find the 15 pieces of the dismantled De-Medusa machine which are scattered around evil Dr Frank 'n' Furter's castle. The De-Medusa must be remantled if you are to save your beloved Janet - or Brad - from being turned into stone. Time ticks away as the castle, a disguised spaceship, counts down to lift-off.
The doctor's abode is populated by weirdos: Riff-Raff the butler, with his raygun; Magenta, his sister; Columbia the groupie: and Eddie, the rocking biker from the deep freeze. There's also Rocky Horror, a 'creation'.
Provided you take care not to step in front of Eddie or Riff-Raff, or walk into the sparks in the gym, then the game boils down to a fairly routine matter of picking up keys and bits of the machine, unlocking doors and engaging in meaningless one-sided communication with the various loonies. It's not even mildly enlivened by losing all your clothes when you encounter Magenta.
This version has an added title sequence with four dancers doing the pelvic thrust to the strains of Let's do the Time Warp Again. The same tune plays continuously throughout the game, accompanied by the odd squeak or two, until you turn the sound down on the TV in exasperation.
Good graphics, reasonable animation, tiresome music and monotonous gameplay; we gave it three stars when it appeared last summer, and there's little reason to change that rating. Strictly for the freaks.
Joystick: Kempston. Protek, Sinclair
MACHINE: Spectrum, CBM 64, Amstrad
Despite what the hero of The Rocky Horror Show keeps telling you - it is easy to have a good time. Especially if you're playing CRL's computer game version of the cult rock music show.
Load in the game and you'll find yourself inside the weird mansion home of Frank N Furter. You can become either the hero or heroine - Brad or Janet - but your aim is the same. To find the dismantled parts of the De-Medusa machine and activate it before the mansion transforms itself into a giant alien space craft and blasts off for the stars! You also have to save your partner along the way.
The mansion is inhabited by some odd people - Frank, of course, plus the evil Riff Raff, and Magenta, Frank's assistant.
Rocky Horror looks good, sounds good and is very addictive - just like the show itself! You'll have to excuse me - I'm just off to do the Time Warp again!
Don't dream it, play it! What is it? The Rocky Horror Show.
The Horror show gets off to a good start as you enter the creepy house, illuminated only sporadically by flashes of lightning. Your first choice is one of sex. Do you want to play the part of Brad or Janet?
Your aim in the game is to search the house for the parts of the DeMedusa machine which will save your partner, who has been turned to stone.
On first sight, the views of the house are reminiscent of the landscape in Dun Darach. However, the number of locations is far smaller and, as you must pass each one several times each time you play the game, they quickly become tedious.
In the end, tedium is the hallmark of this game that started so well. Yes, the other inhabitants are well animated and say amusing things. Avoiding them, though, becomes imperative if you are to miss hearing the manic biker telling you yet again that he never loved his teddy. Yes, one character removes all your clothes, but the resulting graphic has all the sex appeal of an Action Man.
Parts of the machine have to be collected one at a time, which makes for a lot of boring coming and going. Even worse, when there are several characters on screen at once, the strain of so much animation begins to tell. Your pace slows to a shuffle, giving the impression of wading through lumpy custard.
Rocky Horror Show is produced for the Spectrum by CRL, CRL House, 9 Kings Yard, Carpenters Road, London E15.
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