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Fright night logo

MICRODEAL

Amiga – Joystick. £19.95 reviewed
ST – Out soon. £19.99

T his long-awaited creation by Steve Bak sees you in the role of Jerry Dandridge from the hugely popular horror movie of the same name. You are one of the undead trying to stay that way- which makes a change from the usual game. Okay, so Mrs Thatcher has been undead for years but who said Jerry was unique?

AIM
Fright night Your house has been infested with do-gooders who are trying to make your death a misery by tossing all sorts of objects at you to disturb your progress. The idea is that you have to run around your house, sinking your teeth into the jugular vein of any do-gooders you come across. These include everyone from a wrinkled old man to a scantily-clad female and drawing their blood simply involves directing dear old Jerry up to them while avoiding the crucifixes that they throw at you.

STRATEGY
The game is one of the "walk-through levels" breed where you step into a room and then either take a trip up the stairs or move onto the next screen. When you move from room to room the screen fades to black and then reappears with you in the next location. This effect takes place quickly enough to prevent it from being distracting.

After eating everyone on a particular level you must then return to your coffin for regeneration. You can return there at any point in the game if your health is suffering and you want to recover, but regeneration will take some time if you do it this way. The best method of improving your health is to do a spot of blood sucking since this causes you to rejuvenate instantly. If you thought all of this sounds a little too easy then a few additional elements have been added to change all that. You have to get back to your coffin before the sun comes up.

Additionally, as you progress then you meet a range of unhealthy creatures with the singular objective of sapping your health at a phenomenal rate. It is impossible to kill them so the only course of action is to dodge these unfortunate monstrosities.
Mark Higham

Amiga/ST Format, Issue 11, May 1989, p.p.84-85

GRAPHICS AND SOUND
If there is one area that Fright Night reall excels in then it is the graphics and sound. The opening screen, traditionally more impressive than the actual game, boasts a stunning digitised picture taken from the Fright Night film but the magic of this screen is carried through to the rest of the game. Giant, smoothly animated sprites make up the action. Good old Jerry has a face like a deep-fat fried hamster but that all goes to make up the atmosphere. The other characters and a set of clutching hands which erupt through the floor boards have been well-defined and boast a range of great colours.
Aside from the crystal-clear sound of sampled speech during the opening of the game, there is a selection of other sampled music to accompany the entire playing time. These include such musical extravaganzas as the death march and an eerie rendition of There’s No Place Like Home as well as the occasional burping after a bout of blood-sucking.
CONCLUSION
Despite the truly astonishing visuals and a soundtrack that just leaves everything else standing, Fright Night lacks the sort of depth to make it addictive for any long periods of time. With the sole object being to suck the blood of all the humans and avoid all the attention from the monsters, it is not really the sort of thing likely to tax your brain too much. However, it is unusual take on the role of the bad guy, and with the sort of visual treat on offer it is certain to be a hit.
STILLS
4.5 out of 5
ANIMATION
4 out of 5
SOUNDTRACK
4 out of 5
LASTING INTEREST
3.5 out of 5
OVERALL 88%


Fright night logo

Microdeal
Price: £19.95

G Fright night erry Dandridge moved into a quiet neighbourhood so he could get a good days sleep. The nightshift can be tough, but his neighbours just won’t let him rest (not that Gerry really wants to rest in peace). He cannot understand why they are bothering him: he is just a regular all-American guy. He does not like foreign food – especially with garlic – and he likes his stake rare – as rarely as possible. (That’s enough vampire puns – Ed.).

Frightnight is one of the best dressed games I have seen for a while. The backgrounds drawn by Steve Bak are particularly nice, although I think Gerry’s taste in decor leaves a little to be desired. Habitat obviously has not reached Transylvania yet. Each of the screens are packed with delightful little details. Eerie portraits, bubbling test tubes and grotesque gargoyles are all lovingly crafted and colourfully drawn to create a spectacular setting. This works a treat.
In contrast, the idea behind the game could not be more simple. Your nosy neighbours may be a pain, but they are also a fresh supply of blood. If they do not want to donate, then you will just have to bleed them dry anyway. The trouble is, though, if you let them cross you, your future will look distinctly un-rosary. Aaargh!

That was a close one. I nearly lost control completely there. So, there is nothing more for Gerry to do other than to wander around the house looking for victims. When you find a likely looking one and have sidled alongside him, you will find yourself flung into a pounce and giving him a lovebite he will never forget. Thwarting your progress are the things they will throw at you (bibles, holy water, the usual stuff), ghosts which pursue you and hands of ectoplasm that pop up through the floorboards. It is not particularly easy to survive for any length of time, but there is not a lot of skill involved in it either. The best you can do is to remember the most direct path between each snack and to spend as little time as possible on the more awkward screens.

There is not a lot of point taking Frightnight seriously. Microdeal seemed to have expended all their energy on creating impressive sound and graphics, leaving the gameplay to take a definite back seat. My advice is to sit back and enjoy the show. For instance, every time you finish draining the blood of another hapless intruder, Gerry turns to give you a wicked toothy grin and to let out a huge vampiric belch. Beyond this level of mild amusement, there is not a lot else to the game. A shame really, because a lot of effort has obviously been put into creating it and, because of its over-simplicity, I do not think I will be booting it up very often.

The music certainly deserves an honourable mention. The original score with its howling wolves and other little bits enhances the atmosphere enormously, but the really nice touches are the snippets of ‘The Death March’ that are thrown in from time to time and the playing of ‘There Is No Place Like Home’ every time you return to the screen with your coffin in. Frightnight is a laugh, but don’t expect it to keep you up all night.
Mark Heley

CU Amiga, June 1989, p.52

SOUND
GRAPHICS
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
89%
88%
41%
45%
53%