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Onslaught logo

Price: £24.99

Onslaught O nslaught is a pretty strange game. Combining strategy, arcade and Dungeons and Dragons, with the odd Cybernoid-style element, it makes for a somewhat disjointed, though enjoyable experience. Your life is a simple one – kill, conquer, then kill a bit more. In effect you are a one man army who is suddenly struck by the idea of ending all the wars that ravage his homeland. Basically you do this by jumping off people who do not share your point of view.

The opening section displays a map with the enemy territory marked. Opposing groups worship separate gods, and they act accordingly, for instance worshippers of the boar ride on the backs of hogs. Choose who you want to attack and you are transported to their stronghold. Now all you have to do is kill as many people as possible and collect the enemy’s battle standard, which is located at the end of the level. It is a bit like playing a mediaeval game of skirmish.

Because it is only you against an army you do receive some magical help and extra weapons to collect. Naturally there is a catch, and each weapon has only a limited number of uses, and only eight can be carried at any one time. This leads to a lot of confusion and delay as you run out of one weapon, then waste a couple of seconds fiddling with the joystick selecting a new one, only to get murdered before you can use it. Fortunately there is a trainer mode which instructs the computer to select weapons for you.
When you have captured his land, do battle with the opposing leader. This involves you (now in the shape of a hand) spinning round him blasting him from all sides. Then you can plan your next move and proceed to take over the whole of the country.

The colours in this game are grossly over the top. A few of the explosions look like the ones in Cybernoid, but it does not seem to matter and along with its Maniacs of Noise soundtrack and its lasting gameplay, Onslaught is furious fun and addictive. Check it out.
Mark Patterson

CU Amiga, January 1990, p.55


Onslaught logo

Hewson, Amiga £24.99
Onslaught Gargore is the appropriately named land where the rivers regularly run with blood from the battles of warring kingdoms. The armies fight under the banners of no less than 16 cults, worshipping gods and leaders such as Rimog, who collects human heads.

But there is hope in this divided land. Even the most insanely brave army is afraid of a 'fanatic'; solitary warriors who live to carve a place for themselves in history by skill in battle. Thanks to magical powers a fanatic can have strength of an army... and you're one such mighty hero.

Once you start the game a 16X16 map screen is shown. Many of the locations are scenery – mountains, rivers etc – and can only be crossed if you have the correct talisman. To earn a talisman you must visit a temple and beat the guardian. This is a Mind Duel, and the guardian is represented by a head with four long arms - as it spits bullets you move your hand around the edge of the screen firing back, shortening the arms until it dies.

The majority of locations, however, are occupied by enemy troops. These include normal armies, Crusade armies (with improved enemy morale and firepower) and Plague armies (the undead). Once an army catches a plague, it rapidly spreads to nearby locations.

There are fourteen different types of army, each with their own main attack weapon. Ballistic types have cannons, knightly-types have cavalry, and cauldron ones have men with pots full of boiling oil to pour on you.

Field Battles start with the player on the left on the screen, beside his glittering blue banner. Your objective is to fight through the enemy army and capture its banner. But if you let too many troops past you they might capture your banner, forcing you into a defensive Field Battle. To help you, various objects can be collected: weapons, spells, talismans, and bonuses. Weapons include crossbows, bombs, and various smart bombs. Six spells include 'restore energy' and 'freeze enemies'. The ten talismans can help clear plague and crusades – besides transporting you across scenery.

If you win your battle you lay siege to the enemy castle; essentially a Field Battle but with some towers to climb up. Capture the banner here and a Mind Duel begins. Win it and you've captured the location.

If it all seems too hard, there's a comprehensive edit mode to create your own worlds, plus a save/load option.

Zzap! Issue 59, February 1990, p.71

Robin Hogg What great music there is to this game! The Maniacs of Noise have done yet another great soundtrack – there's even a tune that's straight from some Indian restaurant! Onslaught the game is one of the toughest I know of with some really long levels to hack through, supported by some beautifully detailed sprites – the skeletal riders and warriors in the plague lands are great. Though I was a little concerned about a lack of gameplay variety there's certainly a lot in there with plagues and crusades to counter, the problems of terrain, and the different cults to fight against, each with its own methods of attack.

Stuart Wynne After much oohing and ahhing over the graphics and tune, Onslaught initially seemed a little shallow – run around bopping baddies. But once you read the extensive (yet still too small) instructions, the great variety of enemies and weapons becomes apparent. The cavalry and flying carpets are great; the skin-and-bone plague armies even better. Conquering a map is a formidable task, especially with just one life. But any sensible person will save before every battle. The actual arcade element hasn't got that much variety in how it plays, but the ability to design your own challenge more than compensates.

6 4
No plans for a C64 game.
u p d a t e

Lots of options, good save/load facility, and excellent edit mode.
Lots of detail and variety in the enemies and weapons which pack the screen.
Excellent Maniacs of Noise soundtrack. And if you choose FX there's some great samples.
You can get straight get into the battle, but understanding it all takes time, and it's a tough game.
The ability to design your own map gives plenty of scope for a big challenge.
A unique and extremely well presented arcade game.