Saturday, March 20, 2021

Sophélie




It's all bums and boobs!

Sophelie was once a goddess of heaven but has since been vanquished and left to roam the lands searching for her body. Why, I hear you cry? Well, some kind soul has turned her into an albatross so she now spends her time flying through worlds looking to find her original appearance. As storylines go, this is silly, to say the least!

Yep, this is a horizontally-scrolling shooter not too dissimilar to the typical R-Type or Menace. However, this time we're not killing monsters or aliens but instead some of the weirdest things that you might never have expected to see; planets, snowmen, wolf heads, giant eyeballs and even trees. The landscapes are lush with colourful and angels will appear to help at regular intervals. Hey, this is starting to sound really great, right?

Well, let's take a look at some screenshots from the first level...



Yep, giant eyeballs are coming for you and are actually tough to kill too!

Now, this is getting silly! What have the trees ever done to you?

Let's kill the planet? No literally by shooting down rotating planet Earth's!!



Spit, don't shoot!

We begin with the (ugly?) hand of God safely delivering us to each world ready for battle. These worlds are split into several segments with each having its own brand of baddies all too eager to see you dead. Each will swarm with its own style of attack pattern and might even shoot at you - the Earth fires mini-planets!

Some of the nasties are far too easy to kill whereas others are quite impossible thanks to the rate at which we shoot. It's too low, so this makes killing certain enemies quite impossible because they move too quickly in comparison to what we're able to shoot. Dying can be a bit troublesome especially when you materialise too close to an enemy and therefore instantly die. Invulnerability could easily have been utilised for a second or two to fix that!

Angels visit after each of the segments to offer a power-up and these are pretty much essential from the start. Miss them, and the following swarm of enemies is quite impossible to beat. Also, dying baddies might sometimes throw out an extra power-up, but these fall off the screen before you've had a chance to even think about collecting them. Finally, there is a time limit to kill everything which is very peculiar, to say the least.

Let's now take a peep at some screenshots from the second world...



Some of the sprites are freaky... freaky-cool!

I can't make out whether these are balloons or floating severed-heads!

Damn snowmen, they all deserve to die!! O_o



Aesthetics?

Visually, this isn't too bad with colourful palettes, funky sprites racing across the screen and smooth parallax scrolling running at a brisk pace. In fact, I love the level of detail that's gone into the sprite's artwork the most: Sophelie's animation is superb and never have I played a game with such a whacky variety of enemies!

Sadly, the audio is disappointing with a fuzzy theme tune and near-silent gameplay. Well, apart from the death kill sound effect and a strange background whistle. Overall, it's shocking because the YM is far more capable.

Well, that was a mixed bag alright so let's take a peep at the third world...



These are insanely difficult to kill, if not impossible without losing all your lives!

He's big. He's bad. He's about to be brown bread!!

Hey, a power-up appears from a dying beast yet you have no chance of collecting it!



The CryptO'pinion?

On a basic level, this isn't a bad shoot 'em up. The levels are colourful, the baddies look great zipping across the screen and the action is constant. Also, I like how angels regularly appear with a gift to improves your chances of winning. However, this is also one of the most boring games I've ever booted up. The graphics might change but the gameplay is bland and repetitive so becomes tiresome. And then there's the audio... Ugh, terrible!

It's an understatement to say that there are better Atari ST shooters. Sophélie looks nice, sounds awful and doesn't bring anything new to the table but there are boobies so perhaps it's worth it after all? Nah...


- DOWNLOADS -


8BitChip has Sophélie ready to run from your hard drive.
Stonish and Old Games Finder has floppy disks.


Oh no, another grisly death beautifully laid out. Interesting artwork!

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