Jeepers! If you really want to spend the rest of your natural lite glued to the Speccy, you could do a lot worse than try Navy Moves. It's ludicrously difficult, but unfortunately its also ridiculously addictive (birrova tongue twister there), so you may as well kiss goodbye to playing footie or doing anything normal this summer.
But there I go, jumping into things in the middle again. Let's rewind to the beginning and take a closer look at this game they re calling... quite tricky, actually.
Navy Moves, as featured on our cover a few months ago, is the follow up to Army Moves, the game that placed Spanish software house Dinamic firmly on the map (Somewhere just outside Madrid, I think. Ed). This time you leave your Jeep at home though, and take to the water in all manner of ways: first in a rubber dinghy, then with scuba gear and eventually inside a captured enemy minisub.
You play an SBS-type on a mission to infiltrate a full size enemy submarine, set a bomb and get away again. The game comes in two loads, the first taking you to your target using the various means of transport I just mentioned, the second being a platform shoot 'em up along the lines of Rolling Thunder that takes place inside and around the big sub.
Before you get within a minnows-length of that though, you've got to get through the first load. Those of you who played the demo on our March cover tape will remember some of this. You start with the fiendishly difficult jump-the-boat-over-the-floating-mines section - split second timing and many, many goes required here. Soon(ish) you get to a floating flag, and ... more of the blighters to leap! Yikes!
As if that wasn't enough, enemy commandos attack on wet bikes, and drive straight into you - good job you've got the spear gun handy, eh? Survive all that and you reach the correct spot to dive from, so underwater you go. It's no quieter down there though. Sharks, giant octopusses (or should that be octopii?) and even a sea monster tend to get in your way - pesky creatures - but eventually you get to capture an enemy mini-sub and drive it into the enemy sub base.
Whew! Deep breath, type in the access code and start the second load. You're dockside now, equipped with a flame thrower-cum-rifle and faced by all sorts of marines and navy types. Shoot them and they give you extra ammo, or - if you've managed to bag one of the officers - something even more useful like a key or a computer identification code. Don't shoot them and you're, um, dead.
This is a flip screen affair that lets you go in any direction, unlike the left-to-right scrolling of the first two parts. It's all highly detailed, very moody and colourful, if a bit jerkily animated. It's also tres difficult (I think you've said that before, actually. Ed) I also have to say that the controls were a bit ropey on my copy and I occasionally got stuck in a spot for not apparent reason. Ho-hum.
I know Dinamic has a reputation to uphold for making things a bit difficult and giving you a lot of game to get your teeth into, but I wonder if it hasn't made Navy Moves just a teensy bit too inaccessible here. Normally, I quite like the first bit of a game to be relatively easy and give you a few minutes to get into the mood, before the real meaty stuff that comes later -m here you're thrown right in at the deep end and it's, well, sink or swim or you're liable to turn turtle. (You're fired! Ed) Hmm. Getting a bit uppity this editor. I'll have to do something about that...
Still, well worth your loot if you don't mind never seeing the second level. I'm almost tempted to give away the access code right now so you get to the latter part of the game. But I won't. What a meany, eh?
Dinamic got themselves quite a reputation back in the late-to-mid 1980s for games like this one. Game Over, Game Over 2, Army Moves, Army Moves 2, Navy Moves. Freddy Hardest (and several sequels) and more besides all boasted big, cartoony graphics, bold swathes of colour splashed around, multi-section design (these were among the first games to use multiloading), and some of the most frustratingly difficult gameplay around. Most of the time, the games were very simple, very fast, and very tricky. But in the end, they were just too demanding and annoying for the majority of players to bother completing them. Navy Moves is no exception to these rules. There are scrolly-jumpy bits, horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up action, platforms-and-ladders sequences, and lots of shooting just to keep things interesting. Well, it keeps it interesting if you can get that far, anyway.
The problem with Navy Moves is that your chances of getting that far depend entirely on how much provocation you can take before wrenching the cassette violently from your tape deck and then jumping up and down on top of whatever's left for half an hour. Yep, this is one aggravating game, and indeed the only reason I'm reviewing it is that nobody else on YS could get past the incredibly irritating first section where you have to navigate a jittery speedboat across a choppy sea littered with deadly mines. If you can muster the self-discipline to get through this section, the rest of it isn't quite so bad, and the fast-moving action-packedness of things tends to take your mind off how many times you've actually been killed in the last five minutes. One for those of you who find nailing jelly to the ceiling just a little bit too easy.
All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB