Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Saboteur III - The Egyptian Mission

Saboteur 3 was released in 2012 by Shadow Team for the Atari STe and Falcon. It's an unofficial fan-game which is obviously based upon the 8-bit classics by Durell Software and is programmed in GFA Basic. Quite incredible!

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

Ohh what an intimidating title screen! Let's begin our mission by killing Mommies!

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 the using the old kicking mechanic. Each room is great and a pleasure for this oldskool gamer because I liked the design and kicking monsters the 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 the spikes that pop-up to impale you each and every time, even during mid-jump!! However, the most annoying oddity are the ladders because some simply go nowhere and that's just stupid.

As you progress, things get odd and very difficult until death strikes with a blooded vengeance!

I love the graphics which are brilliantly retro in style and follow the original theme quite well using a familiar palette. Each nasty is nicely animated which makes kicking these creatures to death a joy! The in-game music is by Dma-Sc and is a beautiful example of extraordinary chiptune talent, but I still would have liked the option of sound effects.

Saboteur 3 is good but far from perfect and I (sadly) feel that the hardcore fans will enjoy picking at this. I think it's disappointing that many of the expected Saboteur characteristics are altered or missing but this is still a great game in its own right and I think even Clive Townsend would enjoy playing this alternative conversion of his wonderful games. I know I have but now I need infinite lives because I really want to finish it. Very enjoyable!

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