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Nebulus 1 logo  CU Screen Star

Price: £19.99

R Nebulus 1 ecently, Hewson have been assaulting the Amiga market with some great releases such as Zynaps and Cybernoid. This trend now continues with the release of nebulus.
When I first saw Nebulus it was on the Spectrum, and at the time I did not think too much of it. But now after playing the 64 and Amiga versions I can safely say I have been hooked on one of the most addictive games of all time.

The basic idea is simply to try and make it to the top of each tower; but it is the route you take that is the problem. Firstly, there is only one real path, and from here on in that strategy is like a heavy snort of chess, but far more devious. To progress up the tower you need to use platforms, lifts and doorways. The problem with doorways is that unless you are an experienced player you never quite know where you are going to end up: in a better position or in the drink. Lifts are straightforward green man-carriers, although they can also lead to some rather nasty knocks on the head. The platforms also contain pitfalls such as the annoying habit of vaporising under your feet or being greased just as you bypass a particularly nasty alien, forcing you back into it.

Nebulus 1 Each tower scrolls rotationally as well as vertically and mastering the mild concept of this idea is half the key to being successful in your approach. If you come across a lift which is blocked by a destructible platform that cannot be shot from where you stand, an alternative route is required to bring you onto the same height as the block. As long as the block is in range of your killer snowballs, you can clear the block, scurry back to your position, and use the lift in safety.

Other problems require avoiding some really nasty because they go one step further than actually killing you, they knock you down a level or two on the tower you are on. This may not sound much but after struggling for ages on a particularly difficult bit with precious time slipping away, this can be agonisingly painful.
Between each tower is a bonus level where you, in the guise of your little puggy man, happily blast away at marine life, encasing fish in bubbles and collecting them for a time bonus on the next tower.

The addictive qualities of this game are literally phenomenal; all you need are a few quick goes and you are hooked – like the majority of the CU team seem to be at the moment. In a game with as limited of play as Nebulus the graphics have been produced extremely well. When you start, the base of the tower and the nasties are realistically reflected in the water below, and the sky is beautifully graded using around 60 colours on-screen. Clever stuff, eh?

Sampled sound effects are abundant, though not exactly the most amazing I have ever heard. Still, the sound is suitable when set against the cute, pug-nosed main sprite and those annoying aliens, one of which enters with a dry wheezing cough!

Nebulus is going to be one hell of a game to complete, but then it is going to be one hell of a game to put down again – probably one of the most addictive games ever to be released anywhere (honestly).
In fact it should carry a health warning: the amount of times people have nearly thumped the Amiga (Jarratt) or a wall for that matter has to get a mention. Ultimately, it is a mentally stimulating, reflex testing, light hearted game that must rank as one of the best ever releases.
Mark Patterson

CU Amiga, November 1988, p.p.22-23


Nebulus 1 logo  Gold Medal Award Rockford: Aaarrghhh! My face, my face!

Hewson, £19.99 disk
Nebulus 1 P ogo is a demolition worker. He does not wear a hard yellow hat, but he does drive a JCB submarine and leaps around a lot. The reason for this is that he lives on the planet Nebulus, a planet with loads of water, so if he didn't drive a submarine he'd get a bit wet.
Now, some naughty so-and-so has been building big towers in the sea, for no particular reason a-tall! These towers are a bit of an eyesore to tell the truth, not to mention the distress they cause the fish. Someone must be found to destroy the towers and return the seas of Nebulus to normal. With no consideration for personal danger and hardship, the head of Destructo Inc (Pogo's boss) volunteers… Pogo.

Having been dragged out of bed, Pogo stumble into his sub and chugs off to the towers.
This is the point where you take the part of Pogo in the Amiga version of Nebulus. To destroy the towers you must shut down the supporting field located at the top of the tower by climbing up via a series of platforms. Now the nasty fiend that constructed the towers wanted to make sure that they were left alone, so he rigged them with traps and guards, to try and make you fall off into the water (glug) thus losing one of your three lives.
If you do manage to complete the level (by reaching the top of the tower), Pogo is so pleased that he plays a little tune on his portable Casio keyboard – but he's no musician so he hits a couple of bum notes!

Next comes the bonus level which consists of a horizontally scrolling section in which you must catch fish by shooting bubbles at them and then collecting them for bonus points. After that we have (gasp!) the next – harder – level! Da-DAAAAA! But if you're so hard that you complete all the towers easily then why not try MISSION TWO! (Oh no! Not mission two! Anything but mission two!) Ha-ha-ha…

Zzap! Christmas Special, Issue 44, December 1988, p.p.170-171

Maff Evans I was a great fan of the 64 version of Nebulus so I was really looking forward to seeing the Amiga version. I must say I'm not at all disappointed. It's brilliant! Some of the graphical touches, such as the reflections in the water are simply stunning, and the rotational effect is every bit as good as the 8-bit version. Sound is also used to good effect, with some wonderful plinky-plonk tunes and spot effects, although I don't know why they've used the sound of Herman Munster coughing! Now there's something I haven't mentioned… ah, yes! Gameplay! Well, in a word it's absolutely fantastic (that's two – Ed). Okay, shut up, shut up! The action is frenetic to say the least, panic often setting in when a monster or robot bears down on you from the other side of the tower! Well, I think I've told you enough about it, I'm going for another go!

Gordon Houghton Well, this is just about the best conversion I've seen from an 8-bit to an Amiga! None of the gameplay been lost – the towers are just as hard – and this time there are twice as many! In fact, if you thought the 64 version was tough, just try mission 2 on the Amiga – aaaargh! In fact, I'll say it again in case you missed the point – aaaaaaaaargh!! The graphics are just about spot on, even if the rotation does slow everso slightly when there are quite a few balls bouncing around, and even though the sound FX are sparse, they're still pretty neat. The action grabs you right from the start and doesn't let go: not a game to play when you're trying to finish a mega Christmas issue. Just one more thing: miss this and you're missing one of the most original and addictive games on the Amiga!

Paul Glancy Hnngghhh! Hnnnnghh! This is driving me crazy! Nebulus' frighteningly addictive platforming puzzles stopped work, not only in the ZZAP! Office, but also in the nether regions of the Art department! I had expected some improvements over the 64 version, but a whole alternate set of towers was a bit of a surprise. John Phillips has really taken a lot of care over the game graphics which feature loads of lavish touches, such as the rippling waves and reflections in the water, and the ability to see through the holes in the towers. The tower designs are utterly heartless, allowing you to get really close to the top of the tower with only a few seconds left, thinking 'I'm going to make it!' And then you're stranded on an isolated platform with nowhere to go and one of those spinning bas… - er, things - appears and knock you halfway down the tower. HNNNGGHH!!

Two missions and one or two player option, but not much else.
Excellent touches throughout portrayed by brilliantly defined and animated sprites.
Pleasant tunes and jaunty effects suit the action well.
The 'cute' appeal causes instant addiction.
Like Superglue in the underwear – sticks you to the seat! HAHAHAHAHA! ((c) 1988 Bad Jokes Inc.)

An excellent 16-bit conversion of a classic 8-bit masterpiece.