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Thundercats

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Released: 1987

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Elite

Developer: Gargoyle

Submitted by: Stephen Westwood

Thundercats… well, no I was not really interested in the cartoon, or the toys, I actually think I was too old for them, but the game? Well, it got good reviews, the graphics looked ace, and you got to slash monsters with a sword…. now that WAS my kinda thing.

The game probably offered quite a lot for those into the whole ‘Thundercats’ thing, wanting to play as Lion-O, but for those that didn’t care, you could pretend it was just some other long haired nicely animated muscle guy with a sword slashing monsters, that, frankly, didn’t have anything to do with the franchise anyway.  Even the heavy on drums tuneful 128k music, which to this day I still think is some of the best I’ve heard, is completely original and NOT the ‘Thundercats’ theme at all.

The play is frantic running jumping sword swiping fun.  The 128k sounds are nice, the scrolling smooth, there is even quite a bit of variation.  On rescue missions you get a one life only chance to help your friends, or, if you want, ignore that and just keep obtaining the extra lives till you die so you can use them in the main game!  You get to choose at one point between air, fire, water or Earth levels… in whatever order you wish… in one you ride a flying machine and crash a lot… and in another MUM-RA makes a welcome appearance, he was always kinda cool.

The whole thing is polished and looks great, set off with digitised cut screens and that great music.  The game seems, now, to divide people a bit, but I’ve always liked it.  Not a Thundercats fan?  It doesn’t matter!  Just play this good slash em up.