Sunday, January 07, 2018

Frankenstein


Let's kick the new year off with some awesome box art from my own collection. I bought Frankenstein for only a couple of quid and instantly fell in love with the comical artwork plus I don't own anything else by Zeppelin so it's a sweet addition to my personal collection. This platformer was released in 1992 and is horror-themed and reminds me of a selection of games, like Warlock and Horror Zombies. We're basically a slave to the bad-tempered doctor who needs several chilling items that should help him regenerate life into a dead corpse. Fun times ahead!

Egor - Half man... Half creature... All idiot!

Yes, we are Egor. A fella who, not only has he a hump the size of Texas but is also the doctor's unappreciated lackey. He suffers his demand to find several gruesome items and to complete this he needs several oddities ranging from a pillow to a hanged man's body which is left abandoned in the woods. Ohh very B-movie!!

The play area is huge and you begin in the mad doctor's castle but we are free to explore wherever we choose. That includes the dungeons or going outside into a spooky forest and onto the local village with its creepy morgue. There are many creatures along the way like spiders, skulls, wolfmen, ghosts, rats and even animated body parts. Now, Egor isn't exactly the bravest guy and hates these creepy things so there is a fright-o-meter which displays his current state of mind. This ranges from "okay" to "panic" and will degrade every time he touches something nasty. So once he's a blithering wreck Egor will drop whatever he's carrying to rush back to the Doctor and loses a life. Also, he gets a 5-ton weight dropped on him while suffering verbal abuse before being punched in the face and sent back out again. Yes, it's a harsh life being the servant of the insane Doctor Frankenstein. However, it's rumoured that a young serving wench is the one kind soul who may help to reduce his anxiety issues...

No platformer is worth its salt unless the control mechanics are smooth and precise. It always saddens me when a potentially great platformer has been ruined by controls which don't quite feel right - just look at Chuckie Egg II right here on AtariCrypt as a cruel example of how to spoil a great 8-Bit conversion! Thankfully, Egor's walking speed is just right and he also jumps with ease and effortless control. Spot-on perfect joystick controls, I say.

     

Graphically, this is a mixed bag for me. Each screen has extraordinary cartoon-like artwork, especially in the Spooky Forest with the scary trees, ghosts, bats, and funny zombie-like men. I am constantly amazed by the attention to detail and their nice animations - I love that pitchfork guy! Sadly, the programmer decided to implement the push-scrolling technique which is far too slow for my liking and I feel the flick-screen method would have been better. Sound effects are fine but limited to collecting items, bumping into monsters and a strange lightning weather.

This is a cracking platformer with progressively challenging gameplay and I adore the spooky theme. Each screen is incredibly detailed and always interesting without ever being impossibly hard to beat. I can spend hours exploring the huge map which constantly reminds of my 8-Bit days playing games like Chiller, Chuckie Egg 2 and so many others. A simple platformer that doesn't push the Atari ST yet is superb fun to play and that's what matters. Love it.

LINKS

 - Floppy disks can be found on Stonish and 8BitChip has a version for hard drive installation.
 - Hall Of Light has an incredible game map which you can also nab off my Dropbox.