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.
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