Dragon 32 Universe
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CUTHBERT GOES WALKABOUT

After a wave of games based on shooting down aliens, and another based on running round mazes, are we now set for one where the general idae is to fill in squares, or the whole screen, by painting?

Objectives

Cuthbert's main aim in life is to clamber round a lunar pad, five squares by seven, with the corner of each square being a switch. When he has passed any two adjoining switches, that side of the sqare changes colour, and when all four sides change colour the square lights up.

In Play

An initial disappointment is that Cuthbert is little more than a matchstick figure, although when he gets skipping around the screen you discover that he is a very agile figure indeed. The program gives you a great deal of subtle control over his movements, though this does take several plays to get to grips with.

A joystick can be used, or keyboard control via the arrow keys, with a smack at the space bar to make Cuthbert jump. He can only leap when travelling horizontally, but you have to be careful you don't d it too near the dge of the frame or he'll plunge suicidally out. Other keys you'll need are the B key to freeze the action, 5 to set it going again, and 8 to change the colour of certain screens to make them more suitable for black and white TVs.

The first frame starts with four meanies lolloping after Cuthbert to a catchy boogie-woogie beat.

Despite being called Moronians, the other side gets smarter, and they'll eventually be joined by their chief, who's super-intelligent.

Points are scored for each line that changes colour, each square lit up, and a bonus and an extra life when a whole screen is filled. Subsequent screens naturally mean more Moronians, more speed, more intelligence, and less chance of survival, though if you score over 500 you can enter your name in the Microdeal Hall of Fame.

Verdict

The idea is to set the lunar pad alight, and although Cuthbert is not a game to set the world alight, it is very entertaining, and something I can see myself coming back to. Good, but not great.