onditions are terrible, it is five to a cell! That cry will be herd the length and breadth of the country any day now. Thing is, it won’t be prisoners complaining about conditions, but your very own body. Unknown, unseen and unexpected a virus is attacking mankind, but luckily the Assembly Line has come up with the Vaxine.
For all its medical trappings, Vaxine is a shoot-em-up, puzzle game hybrid. The world you patrol is packed with half-spheres sticking out of the floor, the healthy cells you are out to protect. Floating around are huge balls of three different colours – these are the virus which want to attack your healthy cells and they are generated by polo mint pucks that skate around the place.
Playing should be simplicity itself. While driving around, you fire out the correctly coloured Vaxine balls to hit virus spheres, thus killing them. When there is no more virus cells left you have finished the level. Every four levels there is a bonus screen, for loads of bonus type thingies.
Defeating the virus is no cakewalk, because for microscopic non-cognitive life forms they are pretty smart. Similarly coloured virus cells try to bind together so they can attack a healthy cell; a minimum of three is needed for an assault. These long molecular strings bash around in the most improbable way and are exceptionally awkward targets. Even singles bounce in a nil gravity fashion that tests the shooting eye. Then, there is the fact that Vaxine and virus look identical one fired. As the misses mount, then confusion reigns.
Like virus particles, Vax’ spheres can be fired in a long string. This not only looks rather smart but also allows the germ bashers to roam the playing area with a greater chance of snagging a victim. As each level reaches a climax, Vaccinators are seen rushing madly around trying to find that last blue virus. Trouble is if you run out of Vaxine of a single colour then it is game over; if all the healthy cells are sucked dry of life, it is the same story.
"Why would anyone want to play a microbiology simulator?" you may well ask. For the thrill of screaming around a surreal ray-traced 3D world facing a rapidly multiplying threat with an ever decreasing supply of vaxine, that is why. As the levels progress it builds to a head-spinning, eye-blurring test of straight thinking in a mad, bad, diseased world where the virus is king and Vaxine is only a temporary remedy.
Amiga Format, Issue 16, November 1990, p.65
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Vaxine is a visual fest of pig out proportions. The shapes may be simple, the floor designs are basic geometric patterns, but they all move with a speed that beggars belief – a factor hammered home with universal ray-tracing. Vaxine looks just how it should, and that is beautifully odd, carrying a modernist theme to biochemical levels. The results shock at first and enchant later. The sounds in the game are suitably strange with echoing impacts and disconcerting squidge noises. The soundtrack, however, is obviously the first victim of Vaxine starvation and sounds definitely poorly in parts.
Vaxine is the cure to those generic blues, yet its very individuality may alienate some players It is worth struggling to understand, if only to see the more outlandish levels. Excellent coding and wild graphics make it a game to be reckoned with. If you are suffering from the same game blues, rejoice, there is now a Vaxine.
Die Jungs von Assembly Line machen ihrem namen wirklich alle Ehre, sie produzieren Spiel wie am Fließband. Und komisch: Ob "Interphase", "Pipemania", "E-Motion" oder jetzt "Vaxine" – praktisch immer steckt eine originelle Idee dahinter!
Diesmal geht es angeblich um die Virenbekämpfung im menschlichen Körper. Vorzustellen hat man sich das als rasante 3D-Ausführung von "E-Motion": Man jaft auf einer bunt gemusterten Fläche dahin und muß farbige Kugeln (die Viren) abschießen, die kreuz und quer durch die Gegend hüpfen. Dazu steht ein begrenzter Vorrat von ebenfalls farbigen "Schußkugeln" zur Verfüfung. Bekommt man die Seuche nicht innerhalb einer bestimmten Zeit in den Griff, verbinden sich die kleinen Plagegeister und bringen die Körperfunktionen zum Erliegen – Game Over, mit anderen Worten.
Die unglaublich schnell animierte Ray Tracing-Grafik ist herrlich bunt, dazu sieht jeder Level etwas anders aus. Der 3D-Effekt ist dabei so überzeugend, daß man zeitweise richtig in den Monitor kriechen möchte! Auch die Titelmusik hat es in sich, ja, selbst die Sound-FX unterscheiden sich wohltuend von üblichen Geknalle. Gesteuert wird (problemlos) mit Maus oder Joystick; der Schwierigkeitsgrad ist einstellbar, außerdem kann man wahlweise mit oder ohne Einbeziehung der Trägheit spielen.
Es ist schon erstaunlich, wie Assembly Line aus den Zutaten von "E-Motion" ein komplett neues Game fabriziert hat. So simple das Spielprinzip auch sein mag, die Präsentation ist allemal mitreißend, und wer sich erstmal mit dem Vaxine-Fieber infiziert hat, ist rettungslos verloren! (mm)
Amiga Joker, November 1990, p.64
US Gold, Amiga £24.95
very day you come under attack from fearless enemy agents, attempting to destroy your defences and kill you! But this isn't some paranoid fantasy, it's all true and happening as you read this: the skin-crawling facts of your body's war against invading virus cells. Which isn't to say the inside of your body looks like a multi-directional scrolling playfield with ray traced graphics, but merely that The Assembly Line have written a novel scenario for their E-Motion follow-up.
Another way of thinking about the game is as a 3-D Defender. You start off with nine dome-shaped bases to defend from three types of virus spheres (distinguished by colour) which bounce along the chequered floor. To attack, three or more like-coloured virus spheres must link together with elastic lines before adjoining a base.
To fight back you have three different types of ammo: to destroy a sphere, shoot it with the matching ammo. This isn't as easy as it sounds with no targeting cursor and everything bouncing along at some speed. And if you run out of any type of ammo, or all your bases are destroyed, it's game over. To recharge your ammo, shoot a sphere with the wrong ammo. This creates a star which gives you 16 more shots, when hit with the same-coloured ammo.
Another neat trick is provided by the Portals, black slabs that you can move through, freezing everything so you can move around unhindered. But once you press fire everything goes back into action at a slightly higher difficulty level. Fortunately at the beginning of each fifth wave all nine of your bases are restored. At the end of this wave there's a bonus 'Shooting Star' level with dozens of ammo stars swirling about.
Zzap, Issue 67, November 1990, p.81