Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ork

Ork is a scrolling platform shoot 'em up by Psygnosis that involves a rather angry looking dude with a big gun. Yep sounds good to me already, but Psygnosis have never been a favourite company of mine - it's obvious where their preference lay. Thankfully, they did make some good Atari ST games and I hoped Ork might be one of them.

Ku-Kabul is a wannabe space captain who has to suffer a series of tests on alien infested words to prove my worth. After a nice intro with cool title music, Ork bares its gorgeous assets for all, with well-defined graphics accompanied by beautiful colourful backgrounds. All sound effects are made up from samples and add a punch of attitude as you run around on your killing spree. I'm reminded a little of Shadow Of The Beast and Leander with maybe a slice of Killing Gameshow thrown in for good measure because gameplay consists of solving puzzles and killing lots (and lots) of baddies. Thankfully, he is supplied with a cool laser cannon and a jet booster! Finally, each level has a guardian boss which won't let you pass until you cross his palm with silver, thus providing us with a little puzzle element.

The puzzles aren't overbearing and the action is hectic and exciting which forms a good balance. The required tasks are pretty easy and progression to the next level won't be allowed until solved. However, it's the action which I enjoy and it is certainly fun blasting those trippy aliens that frantically race around the screen just asking to be blown up!

Ork is a great mix of platformer, puzzler and shoot 'em up but I do feel an extra nip of speed would have made things perfect, so it's a shame Psygnosis failed to use enhanced hardware to achieve this. However, that is my only gripe because I do recommend Ork as it's a good game with lots of great action.

LINKS

 - Download Ork from 8BitChip if you have the funky hardware! (supports faster CPUs)
 - Anyone needing those floppy disks should just see Old Games Finder.
 - Here is a MOD file of the Ork title theme tune. Pretty darn impressive!
 - AtariMania features Ork within their ST database website.