Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Saboteur III - The Egyptian Mission

Durell games for the Atari ST?

Saboteur 3 was released in 2012 by Shadow Team for the Atari STe and Falcon. I'll start by saying that I was a huge fan of Saboteur 2 on my Spectrum 128 (not so much the first game oddly enough) so I'm excited to see this for my ST and I'm wondering how it will compare. Well, it's obviously an unofficial fan game based upon the original 8-bit games by legends, Durell Software. Incredibly, it was programmed using GFA Basic. Pretty cool.

This third mission takes us into Egypt looking for fragments of a key to unlock a treasure-filled sarcophagus. However, this might not come as much of a shock, but somebody has rigged most rooms with killer spikes and lots of scary creatures like mummies, bats, and scorpions. So don't expect this to be easy!!

Ok, let's begin the mission... Yeah, that means killing Mommies!

Authentic or different?

Controls are very responsive and I'm impressed with the fluency of our actions which help make this game feel authentically enjoyable. Movements are more or less what you would expect with a few changes - down/fire now makes our ninja hit under the belt without using the old kicking mechanic. Each room is great and a pleasure for this oldskool gamer - I liked the design and kicking monsters to death is always fun. Looking at the map, Saboteur 3 is smaller than the previous game on my old ZX Spectrum but the adventure is still superb.

There are some changes to the gameplay mechanics which irk me a little if I'm being honest. Like falling off a ledge for an instant death rather than simply draining you of your replenishable strength - I miss that bar... I also failed to see the point of spikes that pop up impaling you each and every time, even during mid-jump!! However, the most annoying oddity is the ladders because some simply go nowhere and that's just stupid.

As you progress, things get odd and very difficult! Perhaps too difficult?


It was never going to look just like the 8Bit games but I still love the graphics here in the ST game. They are different in style yet still brilliantly retro and follow the original theme well using a freakishly odd palette. It takes some getting used to! However, each nasty is nicely animated which makes kicking these creatures to death - a joy!

The in-game music is by Dma-Sc and thus a beautiful example of extraordinary chiptune talent. I still would have liked an option for sound effects to play alongside the music. But I'm now being rather picky, I guess?

Sooner or later, I usually end all my games looking this good! ;o)

The CryptO'pinion?

Saboteur 3 is good but far from perfect. Sadly, I feel hardcore fans will enjoy picking at it because many of the expected Saboteur-characteristics are altered or missing. However, this is still a great game in its own right and I think even Clive Townsend would enjoy playing this alternative conversion? Well, I know I did. A lot!!

Come and get the download if you think you're hard enough!

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