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Blade Runner

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Released: 1985

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: CRL

Developer: Andy Stodart / Ian Foster / Ian Ellery

Submitted by: Martin Dodd

My favourite film from the 80’s finally made the transition to my humble Spectrum from CRL way back in 1985.

The game was not a direct license from the film distributors but rather from the groundbreaking film score by Vangelis. So much could have been done using this loophole but CRL made the gameplay resemble the opening blurb from the movie and as such the game is represented in a very simplistic way.

After your Spinner has landed automatically, you have to chase your replicant or replidroid in this case, through a mildly busy street and gun it down; sorry I meant retire it as fast you can to get the ever decreasing bonus and then its back to the city scanner to retire another one.

The gameplay quickly becomes repetitive and boring once you seen all the streets.  The graphics were ok for the time and CRL took the trouble to put adverts in the background much like the film – though they were nothing particularly special they did add to the overall atmosphere.

Considering what opportunities could have been done, this game was disappointing to say the least although the C64 version had the best music and you were given a cool looking poster that I still have to this day! 

Blade Runner

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Released: 1997

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: PC - Windows

Publisher: Virgin Interactive

Developer: Westwood Studios

Submitted by: Mike Wilcox

Mention the words 'Blade Runner',  and you conjur up images of Harrison Ford snogging an android, Rutger Hauer poking in someones eyes and reciting poetry, flying cars and a unicorn. Not much for a movie, but by god, what a movie it was. So, fast forward from 1982 to 1997. Westwood thought they would have a go at making a Blade Runner game and make it a point and clicker. And i agree with their choice.

The graphics were ground breaking for their time, but they dont hold up so well nowadays, being blocky around the edges, but they are animated well, even though they do look like the Elephant man's relatives on holiday. The cut scenes are amazing and still blow me away to this day. Add to that Vangelis' hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, excellent puzzles to solve and clues to find, the ability to use ESPER (that alone is worth a game!!!!) and nifty shooting sections mean you'll never get tired. Oh, did i mention that at certain points, the game branches? well, here goes: At certain points, the game branches, meaning the game never plays the same twice, unless you choose to, which brings an air of replay value to an otherwise brilliant experience. In all, i think there is at least four different endings, though I could be wrong. I said earlier experience, because thats what I believe it to be. And its an experience you shoudn't miss, especially if you're a Blade Runner fan, like me.