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Interphase logo

IMAGEWORKS £29.99 * Mouse

Interphase The future is, and always has been, an interesting place. It is not unreasonable to assume that in the not-too-distant future, the likes of you and me will find we have more time on our hands away from work: and it is not too unreasonable to assume that we will be spending our increased leisure time in what would now be considered bizarre and unusual ways.

Imagine a machine like a compact disc player, on which you play not music discs, but discs of the most fantastic dreams imaginable: where you can experience the smell, the sounds, the taste and the touch of any fantasy you like.
That is the foundation of Imageworks’ latest 3D romp, in which you play the part of the recently fired dream-maker Chadd, and must guide your girlfriend through the DreamTrack Corporation High Security Building and retrieve the master recording of your last dream. Why? Well, not everything will change in the future, it seems. Corruption looks likely to still be around. Dreamers like Chadd are often showered with gifts from companies in the hope they will dream about them and encourage anyone playing the dreams to buy their products.

That is all pretty harmless, but recently Thought Adjustment Seminars were introduced where Dreamers were ‘adjusted’ to the ‘correct’ state of mind. And Chadd has just realised that the subconscious political brainwashing which really takes place at these seminars has turned his last dream into a potential lethal weapon, which could destabilise and undermine the minds of the youth of the Western World.
Using a home-made hacked modem lead, Chadd has linked up to the security computer and is preparing to guide his partner through the many levels of the building to retrieve the master disc stored on the top floor.

Interphase takes place in two parallel worlds: the real world of the building and the abstract world of the computer system controlling security. There are two main displays in the game: a 2D map for each floor of the building showing the position of the girl and any obstacles, such as doors; and a 3D representation of the world inside the computer, seen through Chadd’s eyes. Progress is made by Chadd flying around the computer, altering anything that hinders the girl’s progress.

The abstract world inside the computer is made up of several layers which you can pass between by flying through coloured tiles (the layers wrap round for each floor) and on each layer there are various structures representing doors, surveillance cameras and other things that are present in the real world of the building. Suppose the girl arrives at a door in the building that is locked. She will send a message to Chadd informing him, so that he can call up the map display, see where she is, and home in on her. Then he can follow direction arrows that will appear on his HUD whenever he’s locked onto something, until he finds the door. He simply has to blast it to open it, and the girl continues on her merry way!

Obviously, the computer is trying to do a good job of keeping the building safe, so there are various security droids around that Chadd can do little about, except keep them away from the girl. Droids become activated when the girl passes in front of a camere that is on, ro when se passes over a pressure pad in the floor. As soon as a droid catches up with the girl it is game over time. It is also game over when all Chadd’s energy runs out through crashing into too many structures or by taking too many hits fro the various craft inside the computer.

Fortunately, there are ways to top up energy, but it is never easy: especially when you have let reserves get perilously low! The easiest way to deal with the enemy craft is to find where they are coming from and destroy the base with a well-aimed missile: you are armed with missiles and a weaker front-firing gun when you are flying around. Get the girl to the top floor, retrieve the master disc and you have completed the game.
Andy Smith

Amiga Format, Issue 4, November 1989, p.p.38-39

GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The graphics throughout are great. Everything moves quickly and smoothly and you are left with the impression that there really is a 3D world in there. The sound effects too are great. Overall this is the standard of graphics and sound we should be expecting from current Amiga games.

JUDGEMENT
Interphase is complex and intriguing to start with. Once you have played a couple of times, though, you will have the hang of it and will be able to understand what is going on. Then it is a case of carefully planning the route and dealing with the hazards as you come across them. The levels get progressively harder so it is going to take you a while to complete and if you like games that require a little brain power, you will have a lot of fun along the way.

GRAPHICS 9
SOUND 8
INTELLECT 4
ADDICTION 7
OVERALL 88%



Interphase logo  CU Screen Star

Mirrorsoft
Price: £29.99

I Interphase t is rare nowadays to find a piece of software that has not derived from a film or an arcade machine or for that fact plagiarised from another top selling title. In concept and design, Interphase can be claimed to be wholly original. The plot behind Interphase is pretty complicated. Set sometime in the future the ultimate form of home leisure entertainment has been created, the DreamTracks. Fully interactive dreams where the player can not only see and hear what is going on but smell, feel and taste the action around them. In order to produce a top selling DreamTrack the companies have to record them from particularly vivid dreamers. In order to produce a perfect dream to tape the companies make their Dreamers attend seminars where they are fed constant information until the subject of the seminar occurs in their dreams.

One such Dreamer was Chadd. He had just had a major DreamTrack recorded when he was sacked. It was nut until then that he realised the full potential of his dream, it could destabilise and undermine the minds of the youth of the western world. The only thing left for Chadd to do is to attempt to break in to the DreamTrack Corporation high security building and destroy the MasterTrack for his dream. The idea is for his girlfriend to enter the building while Chadd systems within the main computer.

It sounds like a recipe for a shoot ‘em up and that is what it is, plus a strategy and arcade adventure. The game starts with Chadd gliding down a Powerdrome style tunnel following a strange bird, then the entrance to the level one computer appears. The first thing Chadd has to do is check the blueprints for the level and identify all the hazards his girlfriend must face. On level one the first step is to deactivate one of the two cameras in the main corridor. Take out the wrong one and the security droid will be activated too soon and catch Chadd’s girlfriend; take out both and – beware – the robot will be left in the room she has to pass through.

The primary way of switching objects on and off or to open and close things is to destroy the switch inside the computer with a missile or your lasers. If the situation is such that something needs to be switched back again then you can use your tractor beam to carry a replacement part to the deactivated (denoted by a wire frame graphic) original. On later levels some components can be docked with and switched internally; these tend to be objects with more than an on/off function.

The goal for each level is for Chadd to guide his girlfriend safely to the lift and up to the next level. There are twelve levels in total with each one being broken up into several floors containing the relevant components. Unfortunately for Chadd the computer does not take kindly to having people blasting its circuits willy nilly, the resulting defence mechanisms manifest themselves as birds, helicopters and planes, none quite as nice as the overall favourite though, the unicycling frog. Most can be destroyed with Chadd’s lasers but quickly reappear from the various generators around the landscape. Just as well Chadd brought along some guided missiles isn’t it?

A huge, deeply absorbing interactive game which is a welcome relief. Interphase formally mainframe has been over a year in development, but it is well worth the wait.
Mark Patterson

CU Amiga, November 1989, p.p.62-63

SOUND
GRAPHICS
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
82%
89%
88%
90%
90%


Interphase logo  Zzap! Sizzler

Imageworks Amiga £24.99

Interphase DreamTracks are the entertainment craze of the 21st century, storing memories of exciting events or fantasies and replaying them for consumers. DreamTracks recreate the exact sensations of events, the smell and even the taste of them as much as the sight and sound. But by their very success DreamTracks have led to abuse and corruption.

The Dreamsets whose memories and fantasies are stored on the Tracks are implanting subliminal messages to messages to make consumers buy certain products. More recently political messages which add up to virtual thought control are being hidden in the Tracks. One ex-Dreamer, Chadd, sets out to destroy a particularly dangerous Track stored in a High Security building. He asks his girlfriend to walk in and get the Track, while he infiltrates the computer to deactivate all the security systems.

The computer's programs are represented not by numbers, but by complex 3-D graphic icons. The windows, icons and pointers of the WIMP Amiga interface have been replaced by fast moving 3-D landscapes. The databanks of various systems are now represented by abstract shapes rather than names on a pull-down menu. Dock with one and you can access the data. And while you search through the interphase, security systems in the shape of attack fighters zoom after you.

The game starts with you entering the building through a tunnel-like datastream; touch the walls or the mini datastreams forming bars and you lose energy. You emerge in black space. Above and below you are coloured squares which you fly through to other levels.
Various weird graphics dot the landscape, while attack ships blast at you. Press the spacebar and you can use the mouse to click on one of the options on the control panel.

Your girlfriend sends you messages to tell you if she's in trouble. To start off with she's blocked by a door. After reading her message you can call up a Blueprint map of the floor she's on. Zoom in to find the door, then lock your navigation system on it. Exit from the map and arrows flash to show whether you have to go up, left or wherever. Eventually you find a green cube in a gray frame. This is the sub-program controlling the door. Shoot it and the door. Shoot it and the door opens. Your girlfriend walks through, is spotted by a TV camera and fried by a robot. Maybe you should have turned the TV camera off first!

If you should need to lock the opened door, you can go to a workshop to pick up a green cube. Put a tractor beam on it and, if you replace it in the grey frame, the camera is re-activated. Other security systems to work out include turntables (which change the direction the robots go), pressure pads, electrified floors, and lifts. To complete a level you must get the girl to the lift, the fly through the datastream tunnel to level two. (This is where you can save the game.)

Some of the levels take a lot of thinking to work out, other rely more on blasting fleets of enemy fighters. The game's flexibility is immense!

Zzap! Christmas Special, Issue 56, December 1989, p.p. 78-79

Robin Hogg I'm honestly surprised that this type of game hasn't been done before. The combination of sheer blasting action and brainbending puzzles doesn't clash awkwardly but merges together to make for one deceptively demanding game. The feeling of being within a computer system is wonderful, much better than the movie Tron, with a claustrophobic feeling of flight between layers of computer systems. The strange ,very surreal logic devices moving with amazing smoothness around the system, and the neat Blueprint of each level, make a truly fascinating game. The problem side of the game is akin to an adventure game and the arcade element is a considerable challenge in itself (not including the object manipulation side of it) and yet it doesn't fall between the two stools.
Haunting music or Starglider 2-style sound effects would have really made for a special game but otherwise Interphase is weird and wonderful.

Phil King Initially it all seems completely bewildering, but persistence soon reveals the basic simplicity of the game structure. Level one can the be solved quite easily: 'Is that all there is?' I wondered. Level two is much more of a challenge though, the simple game ideas interlocking to make a good puzzle. On top of that, switching off cameras, turning turntables etc requires you to fly through lots and lots of enemy fire. The traditional shoot-'em-up skills of quick shooting and knowing when to recharge your energy are vital. Level three has a slightly different landscape, a starglider-like enemy ship, and more tough puzzles.
This is a classic game likely to keep you playing long after those coin-op conversions have lost their appeal. Don't miss it!

Stuart Wynne Cyberpunk SF crosses Bladerunner with Tron, and this is perhaps the truest computer game version of it yet. The plot closely resembles the bit in the Max Headroom movie where Theora deactivates security systems for reporter Carter. But Interphase's real achievement is the flawless combination of a great plot, an excellent shoot-'em-up, and intriguing puzzles into one astounding game. The concept is just great. The graphics are superb, fast and imaginative (watch out for the toad on a unicycle on level two) although the sonics are limited to spot FX. This is one of the most exciting and original games I've seen in a long while, and I'll be playing it long into the night. I only hope work on Interphase 2 has begun!

6 4
No plans for a C64 game.
U P D A T E

PRESENTATION 82%
Nice packaging and save/load facility, but a digitized biker putting on helmet is a weird and wasteful intro.
GRAPHICS 91%
Fast, and smoothly animated vector graphics establish an excellent atmosphere.
SOUND 65%
Poor intro tune and good spot FX.
HOOKABILITY 82%
Initially a bit confusing, but once grasped the original concepts are marvelously simple.
LASTABILITY 95%
12 increasingly tough levels to get to the DreamTrack, plus some strange new creatures.
OVERALL
93%
An extraordinary new game which you must try!