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If you go down to the woods today...

Risky Woods logo

ELECTRONIC ARTS * £25.99 * ½ meg * Joystick * Out now
Risky Woods
Oh no, not more platforms. I'm sick of platforms. In fact I will be more than content if I never see another platform game as long as I live. I wonder how many platform games there are in the world of Amigadom? Hundreds, no probably more like thousands.
Anyway, luckily for you punter and unluckily for me the writer, here is Risky Woods by Electronic Arts. Right, hold everything! Risky Woods? What kind of a name is that for a platform romparama?
I suppose it's because somewhere in the game there will be a risky wood. What's so bloody risky about a wood anyway? I can see it all now.
Some kid runs to his mother and cries: "Oh mother, a branch in the woods has scraped my arm and now it's bleeding!"
"Never mind dear I'll get some antiseptic, but you shouldn't be playing in those woods – it's far too risky!"
Yeah right, very risky indeed, unless Draxos and his evil legions show up and fill the wood with evil rotting corpses.
In some uncanny way I have just introduced you to the big bad and very ugly Draxos – the very reason why the woods are risky!

It's about now that a deadly handsome and highly intelligent hero with muscles turns up. Oh look, here comes someone now. Readers meet Rohan, the young warrior.
Barely out of nappies, our hero has arrived to deliver death and justice to the evil hordes that inhabit the woods, thus making them far less risky.
Draxos, being the evil guy that he is, has turned all the monks that roamed the woods into statues. Now these monks guarded the Wisdom of the Lost Land. If Draxos were ever to get this wisdom, all would be lost. So as well as delivering death and justice, Rohan has to set all the monks free. A bit of tough task, eh?

Risky Woods To be honest, this is your bog standard platform game. Nothing new has been incorporated to separate it from the rest. So don't expect any surprises.
The control system is easier than something that is quite easy indeed. Left for left, fire for firing weapons, so on and so forth.

If you care to take a gander at the screenshots that grace this very page, you will notice the graphics. Cor, phhwworr, eh what a beauty. The graphics are amazing, talk about console feel or what!
In fact you could be easily mistaken and think that you are actually playing on a console. If all graphics were like these then I'd be a very happy man. Soundwise, there is a delightful little atmospheric kinda tune, but you won't be dancing in the clubs to it. The game has few sound effects, except for a few grunts.

It's very playable, but it is not for the inexperienced platformer because it is very hard indeed. In fact the experienced platformer might have troubles might have troubles with this one.
So, apart from the hardness of it all, what else is there that troubles you while playing it? Well, it's hard to say, but there's something about Risky Woods that I didn't like. I think it's because it's so similar to every other platform game. All you do is move left or right, killing beasties and rescuing monks – there doesn't seem to be a lot of gameplay in there.
It's not different enough to earn itself one of those fabled Gamer Gold awards, but nonetheless if you're a platform fan and looking for a challenge the Risky Woods is for you.

Amiga Computing, Issue 52, September 1992, p.10 (Gamer)

Amazing, brilliant, wonderful and downright fantastic.
G G G * *
Moody little tune with small amount of sound FX in the game.
G G G* *
Doesn't seem to be much gameplay, plus it's far too hard.
G G G* *

Fairly addictive, but difficulty will put most gamers off.

Risky Woods logo


Risky Woods Most kids have a fear of dark woods, but when evil demons are lurking there turning monks in stone, it's a mite more dangerous than normal. Risky Woods places you as a heroic adventurer who must enter the woods and free the petrified monks. Along the way you can collect cash for extra weapons and bonus items for chests.

The presentation is as slick as they come, making it look very attractive. But the gameplay is incredibly unfair at times, killing you where you have no control, taking time away and punishing you for things that aren't your fault. Too much luck is involved to make Risky Woods a playable arcade bash.

verdict: 65%

Amiga Format, Issue 37, August 1992, p.60

Risky Woods logo

Seit 1984 gibt es das spanische Softwarehaus Dinamic schon, immerhin 56 Spiele wurden seither produziert – darunter leider kaum ein Hit. Und auch beim 57sten Anlauf hat es nicht geklappt...

Risky Woods ...denn das neue Jump & Run bietet nur solides Mittelmaß; daß Dinamic nun unter den Fittichen des Branchenriesen Electronic Arts softelt, hat wenig geholfen. So zieht man mit dem jungen Krieger Rohan eher gelangweilt durch die riskanten Wälder, erwehrt sich (unter Zeitdruck) mit Wurfmessern seiner drei Bildschirmleben, killt Hundertschaften von feindlichen Kreaturen und befreit Mönche, die der fiese Draxos versteinert hat.

Das alles haben wir bereits x-mal anderswo gesehen, genau wie die herumliegenden Schatzkisten, von denen einige nette (mehr Zeit, Energie, Unverwundbarkeit, Continues, Punkte), andere weniger nette Extras (Zwangpause, Energieabzug, gekippter Screen etc.) enthalten. Wie nicht anders zu erwarten, hinterlassen die atomisierten Gegner Münzen, mit denen man sich in den Shops stärkere Waffen bzw. frische Energie besorgen kann, und Schlüssel zum Aufsammeln fehlen ebensowenig wie der obligate Obermotz am Levelende.

Grafisch wird anfangs nur Hausmannskost geboten, die sich aber nach und nach zu einem Delikatess-Menü mit Parallax-Scrolling und Tag/Nacht-Wechsel steigert. Die großen Sprites sind schön anzuschauen, sie bereiten dem Scrolling allerdings mehr Schwierigkeiten als dem Helden – trotz reichlich Action und der manchmal pingeligen Kollisionsabfrage sind die vier Level mit je zwei Unterabschnitten relativ bald durchgespielt. Da nützt auch die erträgliche Soundbegleitung (Musik & FX) wenig, simple Jump & Run-Games mit hübscher Präsentation aber ohne spielerischen Tiefgang gibt es bereits mehr als Bäume im Wald! (pb)

Amiga Joker, September 1992, p.80



Amiga Joker
512 KB

Risky Woods logo  CU Amiga Screen Star

Steve Keen takes a trip through EA's newest platform romp and encounters more than a few surprises in their Risky Woods.

Every now and then a game smashes on to our screens from out of nowhere, blazing a red hot trail through the piles of over-hyped software before it. Risky Woods is going to prove to be just that sort of phenomena. The majority of code was finished more than ten months ago, but for reasons best known to the Spanish programming team, Dinamic, it's taken all this time for the game to come up to light.

Risky Woods is an arcade beat 'em/shoot 'em up of incredible console quality. Looking more at home on a Super Nintendo, the game's amazing array of colours and detailed backdrops put most other Amiga offerings to shame. The game's hero is a young adventure seeking warrior by the name of Rohan. His habitat, The Lost Land, is a peaceful isle that generates a great power which has been entrusted to holy monks for safe keeping. Fortunately this scenario doesn't last long and the evil demon, Draxos, turns all the brothers into statues and scatters them throughout the world in order to exploit the guardian's power. The world contains four zones, each with two stages of combat. In every stage you must free all of the monks before time runs out.

Before you commence your journey you are presented with a screen that maps out in miniature the path ahead. The whole complex that you are about to slice, smash, burn and slash your way through is displayed in minute detail, but the later stages are kept tantalizingly out of view beyond the edge of the screen. A tiny animated version of your warrior makes purposeful strides forwards on the map every time you complete a level. From the outset you'll notice the standard of colours used. No pasty pale substitutes here. The backdrops and sprites are delivered in darkest blues and deepest reds as is the compound quality for every colour used throughout the spectrum.

Risky Woods Rohan's first route is through the dense foliage of the forest. In each of the lands you are given four minutes to come out the other side, although you can gain extra time by locating a tiny hour glass which appears occasionally. The first level won't give players of any standing any real problems as it's very easy to fight through. What presents the real challenge is picking up the many extras that are needed to make it through future stages. Rohan is armed with an unlimited supply of knives which he sends hurtling towards in his adversaries with incredible speed. Anything less than lightning fast reflexes and your adventure will be short lived, as the forest's skeletal warriors look like contenders for the American 4x4 team. Most of the monsters are content with simply running straight towards you and depleting energy from your meagre supply by suicidal touch. However, others such as the fireball spewing plants and multi-clawed bats have more advanced forms of attack.

The compact score panel is packed with information and at first glance is slightly bewildering. There are only three things you need to look out for: time remaining, lives remaining, and keys. Other information is important, but not for the initial stages. You have three lives, each divided into eleven segments, and when this health level falls out of the yellow and into the red it's a safe bet that death's just around the corner. Life can be regained in any number of ways. Most monsters you kill will drop ornate spinning coins which can be collected and used to buy extra weapons and energy at the end of a level. Alternatively, you'll come across huge wooden chests that hide a multitude of power-ups and special features in a mixed bag of the good and bad.

Undoubtedly the most important items to locate are the two components to the level keys. These have two functions and can either be used as a weapon, clearing everything on the screen or to provide safe passage past the huge all-seeing stone monoliths that block your path. They are invariably found in hard to reach places and on cliff edges and the like. Before you are allowed to exit a level you must crack the stone casing holding the monks. Draxos, in his infinite cunning, has put several decoy statues in the world that hide his own servants. Although the look the same as normal priests, when they smash out of their restraints they throw up a dark red fire that scorches the ground and burns your bones.

If you're to get anywhere you'll need money. The weedy knives allocated to you at the beginning are not nearly enough to see you though every stage. There are four other weapons that you can turn your hand to, all available at the Olde Shoppe that appears amidst a dazzling sign at the end of the round. On offer are ball and chains, fire, axes and boomerangs. Each has its own special properties and can aid you in different ways during combat. For instance, the axe can be thrown straight up into the air and bounce around the screen until they hit their target or disperse. No matter what the weapons is, you can also buy up to three power-ups devices for them and, if you decide to change them, the difference in price will be refunded to you.

Risky Woods is packed full of delightful gameplay touches. From the multitude of humanoid and demonic monsters, all animated and coloured to perfection, to the special effects like the screen darkening when you go inside caves. The sheer beauty of its characters and the detail begs the question 'why can't all games be as good looking as this'. Every platform and pixel is a resplendent cacophony of colour and although we've seen the type before, never has it been presented with such class and attention to detail. It's a simple little game, but one that is utterly addictive.

CU Amiga, July 1992, p.p.46-47

FOCAL POINT There are three ultra big guardians to defeat before you face off with Draxos. The first requires a subtle and tactical approach whilst the other two have a weak spot which you must exploit by hitting it repeatedly. Make sure you choose the right weapons for these beasts as it can make a lot of difference. One approach is to turn back on them and use the boomerangs.
End-of-level guardian

CHESTS OUT Throughout the game you'll discover loads of big wooden chests. A few blasts and they'll spring open to reveal an assortment of goodies. Various jewels, crucifixes, red lips and stars that'll pump up your points, arrows that will either do the same or back track you to an earlier stage in the level, apples and bananas that can put you to sleep thus forcing you to lose time, winged hearts that notch up three energy points and potions for six points. There are also bags of cash and even a mini Rohan who jumps out in front of you and runs off. If you catch him three times you'll get the opportunity to continue from where you left off when you die.
Chest with goodies

buyers guide
release date:
number of disks:
number of players:
hard disk installable:
June 1992
Shoot 'em up


Fabulously playable and stunningly presented...