Sunday, January 07, 2018

Frankenstein



It’s Pronounced Fronkensteen!

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 that reminds me of Young Frankenstein somewhat. 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, of course, horror-themed and feels like it's taken ideas from a selection of games, like Warlock and Horror Zombies. In this game, we're 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!

First, let's take a look at the back of the back and what's inside...

Nice style around the back too, I thought.
Here's the floppy disk. Exciting stuff, right?
And finally, the manual. It's more a pamphlet that opens out. Not bad I guess for a budget game...


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 into 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.



Things that go bump in the night

Egor isn't exactly the bravest guy and hates creepy things, so there is a fright-o-meter that displays his current state of mind. This ranges from "okay" to "panic" and will degrade each time he touches something nasty. Once he's a blithering wreck, Egor will drop whatever he's carrying to rush back to the Doctor. He loses a life by getting a 5-ton weight dropped on him whilst suffering verbal abuse. And then he gets punched in the face!

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... hmm saying nothing...

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 that don't feel right - just look at Chuckie Egg II right here on AtariCrypt as a cruel example of just how to spoil an 8-Bit classic! Thankfully, Egor's walking speed is just right and he also jumps with effortless ease. Spot-on perfect joystick controls, I say.



Aesthetics

Graphically, this is a mixed bag for me. Each screen has an extraordinary cartoon-like style, especially in the 'Spooky Forest' with scary trees, ghosts, bats, and funny zombie-like men. I am constantly amazed by the attention to detail and their excellent animations. Hey, I love that pitchfork guy! Sadly, the game uses a push-scrolling technique which is too slow. Far too slow. I feel flick-screen would have been a far better option for this game.

Sound effects are fine but limited to collecting items, bumping into monsters and strange lightning weather.



The CryptO'pinion?

This is a cracking platformer with progressively challenging gameplay and I adore its spooky theme. Each screen is incredibly detailed without ever becoming impossibly hard to conquer. I can spend hours exploring its huge map which constantly reminds me of my 8-Bit days playing games like Chiller, Chuckie Egg 2, etc.

A positively simple platformer that doesn't push the Atari ST technically nor needed to. The gameplay is on top form so it's always great fun - which is what matters. One of the best platformers I have played. Love it!!

If this game gives you the hump then grab it on floppy or hard disk!

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