Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4
Publisher: Livewire Software
Developer: Mike Delves
Submitted by: Barry Lendrum
There isn't that many arcade conversions for the C16/Plus4 and only a handful of them are of any high quality.
Many C16/Plus4 fans may not be aware that Grid Trap is actually based on a little known coin-op called Checkman.
The game is played via keyboard or joystick. The idea is to diffuse all the bombs each within a 30 second time limit collecting as many flags as possible along the way. Your enemies are big bad bovver boots which move around the single screen trying to stomp you down in your progress. You also have death skulls which must be avoided at all costs.
Each move your little manhead makes removes a tile from the 15×10 grid, and if you get stuck in a tileless void you can roll the row along left and right until you can safely move along again and hopefully trap a boot in the tileless void too. Each level increases in speed of difficulty with an extra boot on screen to avoid. The bombs also ticks down faster.
The graphics are bright and colourful. Everything looks clearly defined and the game moves along at a good speed. When you lose a life the animation of your doomed man is done to some comical effect. The main in-game tune is nothing special but enjoyable enough, and everytime you collect a flag it plays another brief ditty which actually reminds me of the Buggy Boy flag collection on the C64.
The only arcade omission I've found is the brief intermisson screen between levels where your man jumps on the boots in revenge, like when Pac-Man flees before chasing the ghosts back.
The only real drawback to this conversion however is that there is no hi-score. I don't understand how anyone could forget to include such an obvious important feature as this is a very enjoyable hi-scoring arcade game in which you just want one more go to do that little bit better on.
Besides this though, Grid Trap is a great rendition of an obscure but enjoyable coin-op.
You can watch my shortplay video HERE!