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Venus the Flytrap logo

Insekten sind groß im Kommen: Nachdem diverse Fliegen in den gleichnamigen Filmen die Kinokassen zum Klingen brachten, hat sich nun die englische Softwareschmiede Gremlin des Themas angenommen. Herausgekommen ist dabei ein Actiongame der Sonderklasse!

Venus the Flytrap Zwar hat die Hintergrundstory von Venus nicht das mindeste mit dem Filmplot zu tun, jedoch sieht hier die Zukunft nicht weniger düster aus: Die Menschheit hat von den verschiedensten Insektiziden so ausgiebig Gebrauch gemacht, daß schließlich die kleinen Biester ganz und gar ausgerottet wurden. Das plötzliche Defizit an Krabbeltieren hat jedoch Mutter Natur vollends aus dem Gleichgewicht geworfen, weshalb die Wissenschaft flugs eigene Insekten entworfen hat, um der bedrohlichen Entwicklung entgegenzuwirken. Unglücklicherweise sind dabei ganz furchtbare Killer-Insekten entstanden! Also hat man auf die Schnelle eine mechanische Kampf-Fliege zusammen gezimmert, die nun die Welt von den tödlichen Käfern, Motten und Raupen befreien soll…

Venus the Flytrap In fünf butterweich horizontal scrollenden Leveln warten unzählige Insekten darauf, vom Screen geputzt zu werden. Dies gestaltet sich in der Praxis aber ja ganz anders als man das erwarten würde: Unsere Robot-Fliege kann nämlich gar nicht fliegen, sondern nur hüpfen und ballern. Deshalb ähnelt das Spielveld auch mehr einem Plattformgame als einem klassischen Shoot ‘em up. Was die Spielfigur aber sehr wohl kann, ist an der Decke herumkrabbeln – sofern sie vorher auf ein entsprechendes Symbol gelaufen ist, das sie in die Höhe katapultiert. Wieder andere Symbole ermöglichen einen Supersprung, manche sorgen auch dafür, dass die Steuerung nun spiegelverkehrt ist. Natürlich dürfen auch die Extrawaffen nicht fehlen: Getötete Feinde hinterlassen öfter Eier (merkwürdig, diese Killer-Insekten, was?), die entweder Zusatzpunkte oder feine Power-Schüsse enthalten. Damit das Ganze nicht zu leicht wird, gibt’s noch ein Zeitlimit, innerhalb dessen die Level gesäubert werden müssen, auch ist die Munition nicht unbegrenzt verfügbar.

Amiga Joker Hit Technisch gesehen ist an Venus nicht das geringste auszusetzen: Die Hintergründe sind farbenfroh und detailreich, die Sprites groß und befriedigend animiert, und auch der Sound ist, wie er sein soll. Selbst spielerisch war kein Tadel zu finden, die Stick-Steuerung ist sehr exakt und macht die Kammerjagd zum reinen Vergnügen.
Was das Game aber vor allem anderen auszeichnet, ist die ausgewogene Mischung aus Baller-Action und Knobelei, denn an manchen Stellen muss man die kleinen grauen Zellen schon anstrengen, um herauszufinden, wie’s weitergeht!

Das berühmte Schlusswort kann also nur lauten: Gremlin ist mit Venus ein absolutes Spitzengame gelungen, das sicher bald Kultstatus erreicht haben wird. Weder Action-Freaks noch Insektenhasser dürfen sich diesen Spaß entgehen lassen! (ml)

Amiga Joker, April 1990, p.11

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Action vom Feinsten: Wer einmal Venus angespielt hat, bleibt an der Fliegenfalle kleben!"

Amiga Joker
Venus the Flytrap
Grafik: 88%
Sound: 79%
Handhabung: 92%
Spielidee: 76%
Dauerspass: 86%
Preis/Leistung: 88%

Red. Urteil: 87%
Für Fortgeschrittene
Preis: ca 64,- DM
Hersteller: Gremlin
Genre: Gamesworld

Spezialität: Sorry Freunde, es können nur 1 MB-Besitzer auf Insektenjagd geben!



Venus the Flytrap logo  Zzap! Sizzler

Gremlin, Amiga £19.99
Venus the Flytrap A fter Listeria, Mad Cow Disease, Salmonella and Phil's Footy Mad Sheep, those loony farmers have finally caused a global catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. Through overuse of pesticides all the insects have died out! No more nasty bee stings and ants in your pants maybe, but lots of plants will die without insects to pollinate them. So the loony farmers get barking mad John Gummer to call in the mad scientists. The boffins create a race of cybernetic insects, but these promptly eat some food and turn into psychopatic killer! With Richard Attenborough's favourite topic about to disappear – namely Life On Earth – the scientists develop Venus: The Fly Trap. This isn't a toothy green plant, but in fact the ultimate cybernetic insect killer. You have control of mankind's last hope.

The game has 50 horizontally scrolling levels, divided into ten graphically varied worlds. The basic gameplay is familiar enough: walk right and blast everything that moves, but there are plenty of new ideas to set it apart.

The fly has five vitally units and if they're all lost, the insect returns to the start of the level with one less life. The basic weapon can't run out of ammunition, but has limited range. When the psycho insects are shot they leave pods which can be opened with a bullet to provide bonus points, extra time, brief invulnerability, extra ammo, the ability to fly for a while, extra vitality, an extra life and special weapons. There are five add-on weapons, selected by the function keys, including Big Shot (unlimited range and extra punch), 3-Way-Fire (as it sounds, but with extra punch and ammo hungry). Mortar (even more lethal and travels in a very useful arc), Beam up (hold down fire to build up energy, unlimited range) and 4-Way (limited range, but causes lots of damage and isn't stopped by solid objects).

Providing targets for the firepower are crawlers such as caterpillars, snails, jellybugs and woodworm. There are also hoppers such as pops and rockets, plus static guns and flyers such as wasps, moths and flies. All these come in various sizes, and are supported by Boss Enemies such as a giant firepod and giant caterpillar.

Most of the creepies can happily crawl on the ceiling, as can the Venus Flytrap if you step on a special floor pad to boost it upwards and flip it over. There are also pads for continuous leaps, draining time and preventing jumping! In addition you can look out for 20 secret rooms.

At the end of each world there's a special bonus section where the Venus flies over the clouds blasting oncoming insect swarms for bonus points without feat of losing a life. A password is also given, so you can restart on the new world when you lose all your lives. You also have up to six continue-plays, but if you use these you can't enter your high score, and there's a two-player mode, with players taking turns to play.

Zzap, Issue 66, October 1990, p.p.86-87

Phil King The distinctive graphic style heralds a game that has a very different feel from most shoot-'em-ups. With the choice of weapons it's almost like a platform version of Cybernoid with the emphasis on tactics rather than super-fast reactions. Knowing when to use special weapons, and conserving your ammo, is essential. The action is set at a more leisurely pace than most shoot-'em-ups, avoiding much initial frustration. That's not to say the game's a pushover though: it's all too easy to get caught out by the floor pads (especially the inverters) and end up falling smack onto an insect's head. Although an experience not to be missed, walking and jumping on the ceiling also proves disorientatingly hazardous. Overall I think the difficulty's set just about right with progressive levels having extra features and tougher enemies as well as different themes backdrops. For sheer insects appeal, Venus is simply out of this world!

Wozza Assorted aphids have been a real pain in the office during the past two hot months but Venus is one insect that single-handedly compensates for the pesky little things. Although it's based upon simple jump-and-shot gameplay, there's much, much more on offer than one first imagines. Simply getting used to the robo-insect's jumps is a highly amusing pastime in itself, their height, length and directability (particularly when launched from a hyperjump tile) – making Venus's bounds incredibly versatile. With marauding insects, spikes, sheer drops and – on later worlds – plentiful, deviously arranged tiles, landings are very important so jumps have to be quickly mastered, as well as a fast trigger finger.
Backgrounds are nothing to write home but sprites are excellent, colourful, well animated and packed full of detail. Venus himself is superb, one of my favourite sprites ever. Brilliantly designed and constantly active, he taps his feet, flutters his wings and wipes his face, and his distinctive walking motion is great. Some of his adversaries are almost as good, beetles' legs moving realistically and snails bustling along in an amusing manner.
Disorientating ceiling-walking (someone been playing Minter's Ancipital?), secret rooms, bonus shoot-'em-up levels and high presentation all go to make Venus The Flytrap a very full, busy product, as well as a highly addictive one. It's already one of my all-time favourite Amiga games – you'd be a fool to miss it.

Stuart Wynne This is an excellent reworking of the horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up. The graphics are top-notch, from a nicely shaded sky and landscape to imaginative and atmospheric opponents. What can't be shown by screenshots is the superb animation, particular on Venus itself which periodically washes its mandibles and flutters its wings to create an excellent character. Actual gameplay is different enough to be novel and interesting, but nevertheless takes only a few minutes to get you hooked. The range of weapons not only look good, but are vital to making good progress. The game plays very well indeed, perhaps a bit easy – a single go can take a fair while with all the continue-plays – but extremely addictive. There's a very impressive bonus section, with massive insects and huge swirling caterpillars at the end of the section, and secret rooms. All this for just £20 makes Venus very attractive indeed.

PRESENTATION 93%
Nice intro sequence, six continue-plays, secret rooms, vital password system, reasonable disk accessing usually – although it can be a pain in two-player mode.
GRAPHICS 92%
Ten worlds provide plenty of creepy-crawly variety, including a very nice bonus game with huge aliens. Venus itself is excellently animated.
SOUND 82%
Lovely, ambient soundtrack plays along without intruding or irritating. Good spot FX.
HOOKABILITY 92%
Very easy to get into, as hookable as you'd expect of an imaginative shoot-'em-up.
LASTABILITY 90%
50 levels and ten worlds provide a massive challenge, although password system and easy early levels mean anyone can get quite far.
OVERALL
90%
The bee's knees of shoot-'em-ups.