Oil's Well

Reviewed by Jim Short


Issue 16

Jul/Aug 1985

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ROM or Disk 18.95

If you have ever fancied following in the footsteps of the Ewings or the Carringtons this game from SierraVision gives you that chance. Mind you, you will have to use a heck of a lot of imagination!

OIL'S WELL is, basically, a maze game. Your gusher has come in and you are on the way to becoming a multi-millionaire but first you must mine the oil rich deposits of petromin that lie underground. You do this by sinking your drill bit and then guiding it around the maze with a joystick to gobble up all the dots. The drill bit lays a pipe as it moves which causes problems as the pipe is liable to be attacked by the 'oozies'. These cross the maze at random intervals from left to right and vice-versa. Luckily they have no defence against your drill bit and you can gobble them up for extra points. Pressing or holding down the fire button allows you to retract your pipe to avoid the oozies. Bombs (yes, bombs!) wander across the screen occasionally. They will destroy your drill bit but they pass harmlessly through your pipe.

Naturally it wouldn't be a maze game without the customary 'secret weapon' or power pill as they are more readily known. You get one of these on each level of play and it has the effect of slowing the oozies down for a limited period of time, giving you the chance of clearing the maze unhindered. Meanwhile you gain large bonus points for collecting the golden goblets which appear rather infrequently.

You must complete each individual maze before the timer runs out. Once you do this, you advance on to the next level of play and anew maze. There are 8 different mazes in all and after each is completed, extra buildings are added to the construction site at the top of the screen. By the end of level 8 there is quite a huge complex up there. That's if you manage to get that far!

OIL'S WELL is one of my favourite games at the moment. It has more variety than the average maze game and, once you get used to it, it is not really all that difficult to play. On the minus side, it is rather pricey at l8.95.

Datamost have a similar game on the market called ARDY THE AARDVARK but OIL'S WELL is the better and more playable of the two. It sure beats watching Dallas any day, but then doesn't anything??