Tiger Road

by Probe Software Ltd
Crash Issue 61, February 1989   (1989-01-26)   page(s) 58


Get down to the groovy, Acid House beat with this Oriental beat-'em-up. Tory MP Ivan Aston-Martin claims 'It's a disgrace!' (are you sure about this? - Ed) although Capcom claim the use of the infamous Smiley logo to represent lives is totally innocent.

In ancient China the ruthless Ryu Ken Oh has kidnapped some defenceless children ('It's a disgrace' - Rt Hon Aston- Martin). Martial arts expert Lee Wong sets off to rescue the kiddies. At first he has only an axe, but can exchange it for more useful weapons, like spears and sickles, by hitting special urns.

A mixture of horizontally-scrolling levels and small rooms must be completed before you meet Mr Oh himself. Some of these are populated by hordes of sword-swinging minions, while others contain more ruthless opponents which can kill with a single blow. Some extra-large baddies can grab Lee and throw him for a fatal fall.

Animation of the fighters is very basic - no matter where you hit an opponent, the 'hit' always shows up on his neck. Colour is also used only in layers across the screen, although this is far better than monochrome. Nonetheless, the game has a sloppy appearance - the one vertically-scrolling level is appalling (the hero just floats upwards as decapitated dragons' heads chase him).

Gameplay is also poor, simply consisting of bashing baddie after baddie. Even the larger opponents can be easily despatched by repetitive slashing ('Disgusting!' - Mrs Whitehouse). Still, allegations that playing this at 2am, while sniffing smelly socks, produces hallucinations have been tested and proved totally false.

PHIL ... 45%

Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: jerky sprites on dull, usually yellow, backgrounds
Sound: fair oriental tune, but dull in-game effects

'There's a fair variety of fair aggressive opponents with different attack methods, quite a few different weapons to deal with them and a passable tune. Unfortunately the largely monochromatic graphics are poorly drawn and move jerkily. Given the complete lack of originality, the repetitive gameplay and the ease with which it is completed this seems something of a waste of time. While not a terrible game, it has little to attract potential buyers.'
MARK … 49%

Presentation: 47%
Graphics: 45%
Sound: 50%
Playability: 49%
Addictive Qualities: 44%
Overall: 47%

Summary: General Rating: No inspiration here, just another dull hack 'n' slay game.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 83, December 1990   (1990-11-15)   page(s) 65

As Lee Wong you must undertake the rescue of kidnapped children and bring them back to their village. Enemies on your travels include giants, samurai warriors and dragons: that must mean Tiger Road is a very basic oriental style beat-'em-up! It is! There are some elaborate graphics and the game is colourful from end to end. Fighting is a simple affair, you just swing the weapon in your hand. Most enemies will take just one swipe to get shot of but the bigger ones need up to eight.

If you don't fancy doing any killing on level one then you can just jump over everyone and walk into level two! Very challenging. A variety of weapons are available but they don't seem to help a lot! The best course of action is to get off each level as fast as possible. I've seen better.

NICK ... 63%

Overall: 63%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 37, January 1989   page(s) 115

"Ryo Ken Oh's gone and done it now, hasn't he?" "What do you mean? What's he done?" "Well he's swiped all the children from the local village, and someone's got to rescue them! Who else is going to play computer games otherwise? Go on. off you jolly well go." "Oh, alright then. But where to?"

S'easy, Capcom will show you where, cos you start Tiger Road just outside the place where the kidnapped children are held and being thrust straight into the action, you find yourself up against hordes of sword waving guards as you try to reach the entrance. Once inside, you'll be met by a number of large guards who need several well aimed hits to dispatch them. Alternatively you can avoid them by leaping from one level to another, up and down the three levels in this section.

Should you survive this lot, the evil Ryo Ken Oh will not give up. He'll send his minions to chuck loads of barrels at you instead. You'll have barrels rolling at you from both directions, which can be jumped over or hit. But if they hit you, then your energy will begin to decrease alarmingly. Oh no! Wrestling a sort of lion is next, followed by a bit of vertical scrolling as you attempt to climb a wall whilst being attacked by giant flies. Buzzz! And watch out for the sword waving, spear chucking guards, and the dodgy stepping stones which are a bit tricky to master.

Phew, there's lots to look out for and when you begin the game, all you have to defend yourself is a big axe. But don't despair, as you travel, large urns will be encountered, and three hits on the urn will reveal the contents, invariably one of three weapons; a big stick, another axe and a sort of yo-yo with spikes on, which has the largest reach and the most potent hitting power of the three.

Tiger Road is good but unfortunately suffers from one fairly common complaint. Addictive games in the arcade are fairly commonplace, and to make them stand out, loads of sound and brilliant graphics are added. When they are converted to the Speccy, however, attempts to include the graphics almost invariably lead to a loss of addictiveness. So while Tiger Road graphics do add to the game overall, horizontally scrolling, leaping and bashing games have been done much better before, and quite a while ago at that.

I don't think this will keep the average arcade addict going for more than an afternoon or two.

Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 7/10
Value For Money: 6/10
Addictiveness: 7/10
Overall: 6/10

Summary: Routine horizontal scrolling basher and jumper, nothing new but pretty graphics.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 63, March 1991   page(s) 81,82

If you walked into a Chinese take-away and asked for a Ryu-Ken Oh, then you'd probably get a reply something like "Eh?" (or the nearest equivalent in Chinese). You see, Ryu Ken Oh has in fact kidnapped all the children from the 'local' village, leaving you, Lee Wong, to go and get them back.

The thing's basically a continuous left to right scrolling hack-'em-up - to tell you the truth it would be a lot better if it wasn't so crap. It's not the graphics or anything - they're quite adequate enough (though the scrolling's a bit jerkily) - it's just that there's not enough to do despite its variety. Firstly you have to make your way into the building where the children are being held by jumping about and slashing all the baddies - far too easy because you can just jump over everybody and avoid any fighting whatsoever. Then it's inside - more dashing about left to right (and also a bit of up and down levels too) slashing more people, including these big geezers who pick you up and throw you about, but who can be killed far too easily. Other bits include jumping over barrels, wrestling a lion and avoiding killer bees. Quite a variety as I've said but there's a distinct lack of action as almost all fighting can be avoided, and when you do fight, you can just do one move all the time to win. One for the bin.

Overall: 34%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 83, February 1989   page(s) 57

US Gold in Own-Trumpet Blow Shock! "Undoubtedly one of the greatest martial arts games ever written". Yeh? And I'm the King of Siam.

Tiger Road is definitely one of the most reasonable martial arts games ever written, and that's about the of it. Ropey storyline for a start. Kiddies kidnapped by evil emperor to be trained as horrible assassins. Lee Wong, loyal disciple of Goodness and Light, decides to embark on rescue mission. Iffy eh?

Tiger Road is USG's nth Capcom licence and so has an awful lot to live up to in the shadow of Streetfighter and 1943. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite make it for reasons I'll explain later. First, let's break exactly what's going on.

The screen scrolls from right to left and the graphics aren't too great. Your character moves around the screen somewhat jerkily. In most of the scenes there's a fair bit of colour, but there's been no attempt - so far as I could tell - to minimise attribute nightmares.

The bad guys you're up against are wild-eyed kamikaze ninja psychopaths. There's the little pestering sort inflicts small, but frequent amounts of damage, and there's the huge end-of-level characters can kill you straight off.

Combatting the meanies is more simple than in most of this ilk. No special moves - just a "strike" key which will employ whatever weapon you have at the time.

Extra weapons can be picked up by breaking open pots which litter the area. There's a mace, an axe and a stick, none of which seem to be any more or less effective than the others.

Although things aren't sounding too fantastic so far, Tiger Road isn't without its merits. It's played across a large area of streets and tunnels and abandoned palaces and the action is pretty constant. You can bypass some baddies by hurtling up staircases or jumping over them.

The further into the game you get, the tougher the rooms get. From the straightforward street scene, a bunch of Ninjas are your only foes, you graduate to enclosed rooms with horrid fluffy monsters which around and savage you.

It definitely gets better as things go along, and there doesn't seem to be any lack of imagination on the gameplay front. Just you think you've got the hang of the screen layout, you find yourself in a vertically scrolling room being chased all over the shop by dragon heads. Phwer.

Tiger Road is perfectly reasonable, there's lots going on and it's neither too easy or too hard. I think it's simply the polishing-off section where its development maybe fell down. The graphics quickly, but they jerk and what colour there is clashes like billio. Most of these things are nearly excusable but you really shouldn't invite criticism by professing that your game is so fantastic.

Label: Capcom
Author: In-house
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

Graphics: 60%
Sound: 64%
Playability: 70%
Lastability: 70%
Overall: 69%

Summary: Reasonable though unastonishing ninja game. Worth a look.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 105, November 1990   page(s) 26

It's a funny old life, y'know. One minute, you're sitting there, twirling your katanas (ouch!), the next, you're hunting down a load of kidnapped kids. Worse than that, you've been lumbered with a name like Lee Wong! (What's wong with that? - Garth)

It seems this bloke Ryu Ken Oh (oh?) has brainwashed the lot of 'em, to turn into his private army. So off you go like the mad fool you are, to defeat Ken Oh's many minions, grab loadsa goodies, and kill a few people (ha ha, what fun). This involves running around a horizontally scrolling landscape, jumping over obstacles and basically hammering like mad on ye olde fire button.

Much-needed energy can be found along the way, as well as additional weapons (which all seem to be about as useful as a chocolate kettle!). It's all aganst the clock, and if the timer hits zero, or your energy runs out, one of your three lives is history.

And that about it. Honest, there's not really that much to Tiger Road, except leaping around, hitting things, picking things up and throwing the joystick out of the window - the coin-op it was converted from wasn't exactly the most awe-inspiring thing ever and its unfortunate Spectrum little brother has spartan graphics, jerky, odd-looking sprites and sound that consists of a few bleeps and bloops. The worst point is the gameplay, nothing really happens to get the old ninja magic flowing and is as interesting to watch as Paul Daniels (You may like it. but not a lot!)

Overall, pretty naff stuff, even for £2.99. If you're desperate for a hack 'em up, take a look at the excellent Rastan instead.

Reviewer: Rob 'Mad Dog' Swan

Graphics: 56%
Sound: 35%
Playability: 51%
Lastability: 44%
Overall: 46%

Summary: A poor game from a poor coin-op. Don't even touch it with someone else's computer!

Transcript by Chris Bourne

The Games Machine Issue 17, April 1989   page(s) 29

Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £8.99, Diskette: £12.99
Commodore 64/128 Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £14.99
Amiga: £19.99


You've seen the ads - now play the game. But unfortunately, the 8-bit versions of this dramatically hyped Capcom coin-op conversion are let down by dodgy graphics and rather repetitive gameplay. Still, Amiga owners can thank US Gold's GO! division for bringing in a licence that has at least the look and feel of the arcade original.

Set in ancient China (we're beginning to sound like Antiques Roadshow now), Tiger Road casts you as martial-arts star Lee Wong, out to rescue kidnapped children from the dastardly Ryu Ken Oh.

Roaming through the horizontally-scrolling screens - temples, small rooms, outside scenes - you fight hard with the villain's sword-wielding troops, earning points and (occasionally) weapons or power as they're killed. And urns conceal extra weapons, to supplement the axe you start out with.

Coin-op fans looking for a faithful conversion will be disappointed by 8-bit Tiger Road, which bears little visual resemblance to its Capcom parent - despite the large number of different screens. Still, it's pretty playable (if a bit too easy), and for the less choosy player it offers a few hours of straight-forward Oriental mayhem.

Overall: 43%

Summary: No risk of imagining you're in the arcades here - practically the only use of colour is in horizontal strips across the screen, which makes things confusing and helps game no more than monochrome would. Jerky graphics also let down the gameplay, which in itself is adequate.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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