Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum
Developer: Ian Richards
Submitted by: Lee Tatlock
Has all that can be said about this style of game been said or can we dredge something new from their wrecks at the bottom of our memories? Well probably not but I’ll have a crack at a decent, if not profoundly original, review none the less. One thing that can be said about most of these Manic Miner types is that they are tough as a frozen turd and Ian’s Night Out is no exception. Starting at Ronnie’s Rocket Range you’ll be sweating just to get to the third collectable never mind the next level. However practice makes perfect and soon enough you could be having One More for the Road (the name of the second equally solid second level). The biggest question I suppose is would you want to trouble yourself with the task of learning the levels? I know I did but I’m a bit of a freak for these sorts of things, and I know many people despise them so I can’t really answer that question. What I can say is that it’s Manic Miner with aesthetic differences and ramped up difficulty, so now you’ll have a fair idea of if you even want to load the thing never mind playing it.
For those of you who got past that last sentence obviously you are slavering at the very whiff of partaking in another room by room, collect n’ dodge, platform, romp, as am I. So what makes this stand out in the crowd? Well, the levels are inventive with nicely drawn sprites and contain enough quirkiness to tickle the fancy of genre fans. Controls are tight and the sound isn’t too offensive (but then neither is it great, it’s a famous tune, you’ll know it when you hear it, it repeats, end of). As mentioned the enemies are suitably animated and known as the DT’s (he he). The theme of the game is a mad night out the likes of which you would need some serious acid to achieve, and overall it’s a ‘does-nothing-new-but-does-it-…alright’ affair that’s pleasing enough if slightly too hard for it’s own good.