Sunday, October 22, 2017

9 Lives


It's time once again for some Atari ST box art and today we have 9 Lives. Like most Arc games, this has a simple box design but is also pretty comical with a laughing cat that reminds me of Tom And Jerry. I must admit, I laughed at the glowing reviews plastered by three popular magazines! This has to be a great purchase, right?

Sadly, they were wrong because 9 Lives is incredibly difficult, bordering on impossible! At first, I thought this might be because of the controls, which do take some time to fully master. Once you have, I personally think they are perfect and find it easy jumping up through the platforms and those long leaps are guided by a meter for fine control.

  
Just look at those funny face and I'm sure some characters have been designed by insane people!!

What I feel is wrong are the gameplay mechanics which present a number of awkward flaws that irk me. The enemy sprites are far too big so each screen is overly cluttered, thus Bob cannot help but catch something nasty. Sure, I can knock them out with my woolly yo-yo but it's not long before they get up again to zap more of my lifeforce!

Also, the level design is incredibly unfair and requires a psychic gamer that previously is aware of every off-screen trap. Argh, those darn spikes!! Oddly, for a cat, Bob cannot fall very far without dying!! However, this does produce a hilarious animation effect not too dissimilar to Wile E. Coyote from the Road Runner cartoons.

  
Oh dear, another life lost at the hands of the frustrating and over-crowded level design...

The animations throughout are absolutely brilliant and I love how Bob struts his stuff walking across my screen. I love it when he clings onto a ledge, just before managing to pull himself up. In fact, the graphics are always superb with every screen highly detailed, beautiful landscapes and characters. Audio isn't left behind, the most gorgeous YM Chipmusic plays and it's a belter. Yep, 9 Lives certainly looks a sounds superb for a gorgeous 16-bit title.

Personally, I think 9 Lives had the potential to be a great game but I doubt it was produced (nor tested) by actual gamers so I can imagine most will play this once or twice before giving up. Which is a shame? To think I bought this... but it's still a piece of ST history so I will cherish this game. Just make sure you enable the trainer option!!

Go on I dare you to play!! Floppy available via Old Games Finder with a hard drive version by 8BitChip.

2 comments:

  1. I have a question, who wrote the 9 lifes music? // Viktor Sandhagen

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    1. AtariMania has the answer :)
      http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st-9-lives_10967.html

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