Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4
Submitted by: James Monkman
Assassins' 2010 release Adventures In Time is a game that I've been eager to write about since first playing it last year. Coded for the relatively obscure Commodore Plus4 (and expanded C16), Adventures in Time is 8-Bit retro platforming action at it's very best.
For those of you unfamilar with the machine, the Commodore Plus4 lacks the necessary sprite hardware and sound capabilites to allow for the same quality of games and demos that the C64 became famous for – underwhelming in just about every aspect, the Plus4 did not fare well in the competitive home computer market and was discontinued one year after it's initial release. However, as with most 8-Bit platforms, today there is a thriving homebrew scene – and without a doubt, when it comes to high-quality releases the Hungary-based Assassins are the top of their class.
With a somewhat nonsense story involving a Time Scrambling Machine found in some forgotten ruins, your goal in the game is to simply travel from screen to screen, leaping over the enemies and pitfalls on a journey to an unknown destination. Clearly targeted more at the hardcore market rather than the casual run 'n' jump player, Adventures in Time is one of the most difficult single-screen platform games I have played for years, requiring determination, precision jumping, perfect timing and plenty of back-tracking to beat. However, persistance is rewarded; although there is only one 'level', progress through the game will take the player through three distinctly different environments, each with it's own beautifully crafted enemies and challenges to overcome.
Adventures in Time is a superb little game featuring some of the most impressive pixel art I've seen on the Plus4 to date. Complete with a neat little intro sequence and some fantastic chip music, the presentation is flawless – it's no wonder that the game was picked up for commercial release by 8-Bit publisher Psytronik.
With the game ending left open for a sequel, here's hoping for an equally impressive follow-up from the Assassins in the near future.