This is the latest game by The Shaw Brothers, the programming team who brought you such delights as Tank Command, Gunfighter, Cerius, Heartbroken and Kosmos (ooo, the skwibbly game!). And being in the same graphical style as these, Superkid is bound to be a hit with budget fans too.
New York 2089AD is no change from today: The streets are littered with the dead bodies of innocent citizens and thugs as the street gangs conduct open warfare. What is needed is an old fashioned superhero to save the day (and do a bit of street sweeping to clear up the gungy mess!).
Meanwhile in Professor Ian Stein's (ha!) lab, a potion allowing humans to fly has just been created. Mistaking it for a bottle of lemonade, the prof's nephew, Tom Essex, swigs it down and turns into... Superkid. With his new super powers Tom goes around the 3 areas of each city, beating up the baddies, guiding grannies back to the rest home and saving girlies from the tops of buildings. Being such a hard nut, all Superkid has to do to kill a villain is run into him with his fist. Once all the areas are cleared, he must return to battle with the remaining gang members, but this time they are tougher, and it's night time!
Superkid is a fun little game with nicely coloured graphics and jolly sound. The programmers have catered for alt tastes with the option of choosing monochrome in different colours too. The trouble is that you soon tire of just rescuing the girls and guiding the grannies. Fun for a while at the price.
Someone told me a little while ago that whereas most full price games are slaved over, nurtured and tweaked and tinkered with for months by teams of dedicated programmers working round the clock, most new budget games are knocked off in about half an hour with loads of old routines simply ripped off full price games and adjusted accordingly. As it was someone who works for a full price game company who told me that I didn't pay too much attention, but after playing Superkid I'm not too sure. Not that it's a bad game - in fact it's highly playable (if a little limited) but it does look like rather a lot of games that we've seen before. You're the usual urban warrior (shucks) who has to rescue luscious young lovelies stuck on rooftops (yahay!) and guide pensioners home through the streets after a hard day's complaining (zzzz). Unarmed, you can nevertheless fly through the air with the greatest of ease, which helps when you want to bump off the nasties (landing on them is a good trick). Once you've cleaned up the city's three areas in daylight, you return in twilight when the gangs get even more vicious, nasty, unpleasant and cruel to small furry animals.
All this is quite a laff, as long as you aren't expecting anything worrying like originality or innovation. At least, though, you have the option of playing the game in full colour or, if that's too much for the eyes, in any of four different single colours. But while it's fun. it's second hand fun at best, and that may not be enough for many Spec-chums.
Life's great when your uncle is one of the greatest minds ever to walk the face of the earth. (That's what my nephew keeps saying - JD). Life then gets even better when that same uncle spends most of his life working on the theory of human flight. Things get even better better when your uncles accidentally leaves the door to his study open and leaves an untested flying potion disguised as a glass of lemonade. And funnily enough, you just happen to be thirsty.
And thus begins the legacy that is Atlantis' newie, Superkid. Not only have you been blessed with the power to fly, you've also been gifted with super strength. You are now so amazingly strong that all it takes is one little punch from your mighty little fists and enemies simply explode and disintegrate on the spot.
The aim: Be your average everyday superhero and protect all the innocent civilians of Boring New Town from all the bad guys. You can spot the bad guys a mile off, they are the ones who wear the stripey shirts and the black eye masks. They also pack pistols and shoot old ladies. I for one am all for euthanasia, but in the role of Super Kid, you aren't. And people say computer games are fun.
Probably the most striking feature about this otherwise run of the mill screen arcade move-'em-up is the large amount of colour splashed about. Sure clash abounds, but it's not a bad thing. I think it successfully captures the feel of a city not entirely unlike New York, complete with the smell of the smog and the reflective glow of the neon signs.
The graphics aren't amazingly huge, but they are well defined. Super Kid runs, jumps, flies, the works. His cap flaps, his hair blows, his tights, well do whatever it is that tights are supposed to do, apart from hide all your varicose veins and red blotches on your legs. The bad guys look like bad guys. The old ladies look like old ladies. The girls falling off the buildings look like girls falling off buildings.
There are some nice touches in the front end details; scrolling messages like "Superkid where are you!" and "Crimewave Overload!" keep you alert.
Super Kid is a very average product. Amazingly so. It has some nice graphical touches, but nothing that Players haven't been doing for ages. Once again, Atlantis manage to match everyone else's standard, but fail to beat them.
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
A platform game with a social conscience. Superkid runs around the scrolling landscape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound, picking up bonus points and jumping on bad guys. Complete each level by finding and rescuing your quota of beautiful (well...) maidens and conducting old ladies from the library to the old folks home. Graphics and sound are jolly, rather than stunning, and on the whole Superkid is unsophisticated stuff. Nevertheless, it's fairly good fun for a while at least, and you're bound to get your two quids' worth.
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