Format reviewed: Amiga 500
Publisher: Palace Software (UK)
Developer: Delphine Software
Submitted by: Mike Rawes
Your brain has been transplanted into the body of a robot. Before you can go home and do fun robot things you must pass a six stage assault course: the Bio Challenge.
Stages are split over separate areas joined by portals. To pass a stage you need to collect four pieces of an amulet and enough ammunition to destroy the end of stage guardian. You have a limited amount of time and a supply of oil that is depleted slowly by movement and rapidly by contact with various creatures. Running out of time or oil will reset the stage and lose you a life.
Amulet pieces and ammunition are obtained by killing the larger creatures, mainly by crushing them under a charge slab – platforms that you can knock to the side or downwards. An alternative means of slaughter is by way of the smaller creatures that fly around the stage in a variety of attack patterns. These are a hindrance until you get a power up that allows you to use them as projectiles against the larger creatures.
Once you have all four amulet pieces and are sufficiently armed you return to the stage entrance to confront the guardian in a shooting match, with you taking the form of a flying craft when jumping. You need to hit it in the right place enough times using the ammunition you brought with you. Failure takes you back to the start of the stage.
Bio Challenge is an interesting and well presented game, rated highly by magazines at the time. I bought it on the strength of a glowing 900+ rating by ACE magazine and remember taping the music to listen to alongside Ocean Loader and the Parallax music.
Unfortunately there is a fatal flaw that appears in stage four where the portals between each area are randomised. This is incredibly frustrating especially considering the time limit and breaks the game which is a huge pity. This taught me to be very wary of reviews!