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Exterminator logo

Audiogenic, C64 10.99 cassette, 14.99 disk; Amiga 24.99
Exterminator This obscure coin-op comes from Gottlieb, a company best known for their pinball machines. The plot is that all kinds of mayhem have broken out in a nondescript street in the suburbs of Chicago. Swarms of insects have mutated into ferociously lethal creatures, rats and frogs have turned vicious, while toy tanks have come to life! Clearly your average, everyday pest control isn't going to be able to cope so it's time to call in the EXTERMINATOR!

Who? Well he's certainly no wimp, all he needs to sort things out are his bare hands - and in this game you control one such disembodied hand. Houses are represented by a series of 3-D rooms where various baddies come buzzing, trundling, scurrying and leaping toward you. You can deal with them by slamming your fist down from a great height, shooting them by moving your hand to the side of the screen, or grabbing them in midair. Dodecahedrons and bombs can be caught for extra energy. On the other hand (agh! Ed), wasps give a nasty sting when grabbed they can be waved away rapidly by moving the joystick in a circular motion.

Simply totaling the creatures isn't enough; the Exterminator also has to clean the floor! On the first level, cans must be smashed open to turn a tile over to your colour. Create a vertical line and you complete a level. On later levels frogs with lethal tongues, shell-firing tanks and other such nasties put up more of a struggle than the cans. Once all the rooms in a house are cleared, it's onto to the next house. Clear all seven houses and there's an Ultimate Challenge with a huge bonus points prize!

To aid you in this task you might like to take along a companion. On the C64 players take turns, but on the Amiga it's simultaneous with players choosing either to cooperate or compete each creates his own colour tiles.

Zzap, Issue 72, April 1991, p.69

Stuart Wynne Gottlieb are hardly Konami, but Exterminator can at least boast a fresh and original approach so often lacking from more mainstream coin-ops. A novel shoot-'em-up style, including grabbing, pounding and waving away insects works quite well once you've worked it all out. On top of this, building up lines is a neat idea particularly on the Amiga where you can choose to cooperate or fight in two-player mode. The only real drawback is that going through your average household doesn't get your blood racing, particularly with no awesome end-of-level monsters to look forward to. It's fun and enjoyable enough, but over the longer term might prove a bit repetitive as the occasional bonus screens offer little new over the basic game. The C64 version suffers the further problems of no simultaneous two-player option and fiddly collision detection. The background graphics make great use of the machine though, so progressing to see new screens is quite rewarding.

Phil King Shooting and crushing creatures with my bare hands isn't normally my idea of fun, but Exterminator proves strangely playable once you get used to the rather awkward controls. The Amiga benefits greatly from its enjoyable two-player mode, though 'voluntary' cooperation often degenerates into an all-out conflict! On the C64, the game is more fiddly to play due to more precise collision detection for grabbing possibly to make up for the lower number of creatures on-screen. At times, the persistent pests become very irritating. Thankfully then, levels can be skipped by using the warps (accessed by shooting the fridge door in the kitchen!).

AMIGA

PRESENTATION 72%
Five shared continue-plays, simultaneous two-player and demo mode.
GRAPHICS 78%
Nice backdrops and a varied bunch of monsters, plus a well-animated hand.
SOUND 70%
A reasonable coin-op soundtrack with some nice spot FX.
HOOKABILITY 81%
A little tricky initially, but the two-player mode is great fun.
LASTABILITY 76%
A big challenge, originality helps compensate for lack of variety.

OVERALL
79%
A unique and very enjoyable shoot-'em-up.

C64

PRESENTATION 75%
Digitized house, nice attract mode and lots of continue-plays. Two-player mode is alternate rather than simultaneous though. Hefty multiload a pain on tape.
GRAPHICS 80%
Interesting, digitized-style backdrops and a good hand. Monsters a bit blocky though.
SOUND 75%
A nice soundtrack with good spot FX.
HOOKABILITY 70%
Control system takes time to learn.
LASTABILITY 66%
Graphics provide some incentive, but difficulty might prove frustrating.

OVERALL
69%
A novel and interesting shoot-'em-up.