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The Pyramid

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Released: 1983

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Fantasy

Developer: Fantasy

Submitted by: Ian Marks

Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Weird and Gilly… well that’s what David Bowie said. On Ziggy’s days off though he appeared to spend his time flying around in a bubble, shooting flying dustbins whilst exploring pyramids. Those were strong drugs that Ziggy was on. What would the Spiders from Mars say?

In truth Pyramid was an above average shooter on the Spectrum. Well, actually it was an average shooter made above average by really rather good graphics. They were much in the style of Manic Miner with the aforementioned dustbins, scissors, bees and strange aliens. They were very well animated, and remarkably for an early Spectrum game flicker free.

The aim of the game was to get from the top of the pyramid, to the bottom of the pyramid. This was not necessarily a linear route. As you played doorways would open, and depending on which one you took, depended on the route that you eventually took.

A flaw with the game, is that it was rather long and boring, and nigh on impossible to finish. You were pretty much overrun with enemies, and sometimes the randomly opening gateways just didn’t play ball. So you were left shooting and shooting, with nowhere to go. The game was the sort of game that I would load up, play for a bit, get frustrated and reset the computer. All the beauty of the graphics were lost on my 11 year old self, because I knew I’d never get to see the later levels… there may have been huge animated dragons spitting fire, and Egyptian mummy bosses for all I knew. Subsequently as an adult I’ve watched a play through of the game on YouTube and all the levels seem to blur into one a bit, what a disappointment.

Ziggy went on to appear in a couple of other ZX Spectrum games, one I think about a castle, and the other about backpacking around the universe. They were similar in that they looked lovely but were frustrating to play.

Well then to conclude the leper messiah was never the hit that Fantasy software wanted him to be, but at least he had a good go… and boy could he play guitar.