Anyone remember a game called ZOMBIES by
Bram Incorporated? Bram are no longer in existence but Electronic Arts
have taken Zombies, spruced it up a bit, added a few more levels and
re-released it under the title REALM OF IMPOSSIBILITY.
The game (in both it's guises) is a 3-D
dungeons & ladders game featuring a crudely defined, nameless
character whose task it is to recover the seven crowns of the middle
kingdom which have been stolen by an evil cleric called Wistrik and
scattered throughout his dungeon stronghold.
There are 13 dungeons in all, each with
it's own individual name. Some dungeons are locked others are not. Some
contain the seven crowns whilst others contain keys
to gain access to the locked dungeons. An options screen allows you to
choose your starting dungeon, providing you stick to the unlocked variety.
All 13 dungeons are inhabited by creatures
hell bent on your destruction - zombies (hence the original name of the
game), spiders, snakes and killer orbs. You begin with a set number of
'Hit Points' and each time a creature contacts you, your points are
reduced accordingly. If your hit points reach zero the game is over.
Mercifully, you have a couple of 'secret weapons' at your disposal. Magic
Crosses are undoubtedly the most useful. You drop these by pressing the
fire button and they keep the creatures at bay for vital seconds - just
long enough to put some distance between you and the nasties. You also
have the ability to cast spells which either freeze or confuse the
creatures. However, in order to cast a spell you must first stand
perfectly still, hold down the fire button and then push the joystick in
the desired direction. With a host of deadly creatures snapping at your
heels the last thing you want to do is stand perfectly still and the only
safe way to cast a spell is when the creatures are nowhere near you, which
is a chronic waste of a good spell! As an alternative you can use the
space bar although this is still not very satisfactory. Incidentally, you
gain extra spells by collecting the magic scrolls which are dotted about
here and there, but why bother when the spells are about as much use as a
used teabag anyway?
Each dungeon is beautifully drawn in
intricate 3-D and the author must have taken months to design them all.
What a pity the rest of the game doesn't match up. A two player
co-operative mode does little to haul gameplay above the mediocrity level.
Animation, particularly of the main character, is crude and downright
unprofessional, the use of colour leaves a lot to be desired and, quite
honestly, the whole game looks dated and completely out of touch with what
is happening in the software world right now.
Both Electronic Arts and Ariolasoft have
been responsible for bringing some top quality software to these shores.
Bearing that in mind, I therefore can't see the attraction of this game.
If only Ariolasoft would release the likes of Broderbund's KARATEKA. Now
that would be something!!!