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Short Circuit

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Released: 1987

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Commodore 64

Publisher: Ocean

Developer: Johnny Meegan

Submitted by: James Evans

The game of the film only without Steve Guttenberg (thankfully). You take contol of Johnny 5 in his attempt to escape the laboratory where he was created. The game more or less boils down to a click and collect game obtaining keycards for doors, your laser gun attachment and numerous red herrings along the way.

The inventory control method was very laborious to master, but when you get a grasp of it it becomes second nature. The bottom left of the screen becomes a DOS type promt command that you control with the joystick (though keyboard would have been easier?) until you find the right action. In case you did not spend enough time cycling through the menu system you are also against time – time runs out and the guards find you. This from my memory has never happened, you have ages to try and solve the puzzles and make your escape.

Graphically the game is pretty solid, but what really does it for me is the music – it is quality. The song is looped like most C64 games but in this case its a good thing.

Biggest let down is the over complicated inventory system and the difficulty. At one point another robot mirrors your every move and this alone gets you screaming at the monitor with rage. Also if you hit the wrong door panel or press the wrong button the alarm sounds and its game over.

Still was great fun and a nice use of film licence. I never got out of the lab on it apart from the time the game crashed once and it jumped me into the outside section where you have to dodge rabbits and security guards as it goes all platformy. Worth a look.