After the War logo

Es darf wieder gekloppt werden: Nach "Double Dragon II" und "Wild Streets" läßt jetzt Dinamic in einem brandneuen Prügel-Game die Fäuste fliegen.

Diesmal geht's ausnahmsweise nicht um die Befreiung einer entführten Freundin, sondern um das nackte Überleben nach dem atomaren Holocaust. Der blond-gelockte Held wandert in leicht ruckeligem Horizontalscrolling durch die radio-aktiv verseuchte Landschaft und sucht nach einer Möglichkeit, unsere inzwischen reichlich ungastliche Erde zu verlassen.

Leider wollen ihn Horden von wilden Punks, kettenschwingenden Rockern, schießwütigen Polizisten und mutierten Hundern, nicht zu vergessen die mächtigen Endgegner, nicht ziehen lassen, ohne zuvor eine Tracht Prügel bezogen zu haben...

Neben einer recht bescheidenen Auswahl an Schlagvarianten stehen dem Endzeit-Wanderer noch verschiedene Sprungtechniken zur Verfügung. Auch kann man auf Fassaden klettern, um Bonusgegenstände einzusacken, oder den vermöbelten Gegnern ihre Waffen abnehmen.

Außerdem sollte man stets die Anzeige für die eigene Radioaktivität im Auge behalten, will man nicht als wandelndes Atomkraftwerk enden.

Grafik und Animation sind durchaus gelungen, der blecherne Sound kann allerdings weniger begeistern. Was das Spiel aber im Mittelmaß versauern läßt, ist der eklatante Mangel an Gameplay: Immer nur schlagen, Springen oder Ducken dürfte selbst für hartnäckige Fans des Genres etwas zu wenig sein! (M. Semino)

After the War logo

Price: £19.95

This is the story of one man's fight against a cold and unfriendly civilisation. All traces of modern social etiquette and mental evolution have disappeared. The modern steel and cement jungles of the first world have become home to a barbaric and violent breed of street gangs and thugs. This is the world after a nuclear war, a world where no man is safe from his own brother.

Human beings are particularly versatile creatures, able to adapt easily to their chosen environment. All except one particular human, Jonathan Rogers, known to his friends as Jungle Rodgers. And who can blame him?

Jonathan doesn't want to stay in downtown Manhattan, since it's one of the worst hit cities after the war. His only escape route is via a launch pad way off to the right of the screen, where he can escape to the outer colonies and be free from all the hassle of existing in an average computer beat 'em up.

Of course, to get to this nuclear free haven - a sort of Hackney-on-the-moon - he has to fight his way through the obligatory billions of screens scrolling from left to right, punching and kicking every living thing that comes into view. Just for a change, there are more things to kill than the usual collection of muscle-bound skinheads with chainsaws. There's the odd rabid dog or two racing around, not to mention the thousands of rats and weasels that race underfoot. True variety.

This sort of game has been done to death, and the real problem is that it just isn't getting any better. After seeing a dozen or so of these things, you begin to wonder if the term 'practice makes perfect' actually means anything. Only in a perfect world, it seems.

Gameplay is always an important factor, but maybe not to the programmers of this little baby. OK, so using a key on the keyboard as a second fire button isn't unheard of, but it is usually the space bar, not something as fiddly to hit as the left Amiga key.

It's this process of having to let go of the fire button and swinging wildly at the keyboard whilst trying to hold the joystick in a set position that really finishes off After The War. That plus the fact that the controls are amazingly unresponsive anyway, Come on, this is supposed to be an action games!

Visually this is very reminiscent of Manhattan Dealers. Large sprites are all very well, but animation is also a major part of making a game look good. Two frame animation does not give this game an arcade quality feel, and as for the short, almost violently abrupt spot effects, well, they don't really add an aural character to the game. In fact, After The War doesn't have any character.

After the War logo

Dinamic, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £24.99

Nuclear apocalypse has happened - the ultimate catastrophe - but the streets of Manhattan are still filled with Muggers. Jonathan 'Jungle' Rogers is in the thick of it; his aim is simply survival. Located at the headquarters of the murderous Prof McJerin there is a XV-238 launching platform. Using this, JR can escape to the outer colonies!

Roger's fight is essentially a horizontally scrolling beat-'em-up. The first of the game's two loads is split into three phases. The first takes places in post-apocalypse Manhattan. Besides the muscle-bound muggers there are deadly mines and a superbaddie at the end. Phase two is more of the same, only with a different background and the baddies have guns! The final phase is the toughest of the lot, set at the subway entrance where you encounter 'R.A.D. Bulls'.

Amiga owners get much longer levels, plus a wider variety including men with guns and chains. To hurry you along there's a radiation count: when this time limit runs out you lose all your lives!

The second load takes the player inside the subway, with yet more baddies, only now you're armed with a massive machine gun. Combat androids, mutants, and huge rats are all out to get you. Complete this level and you get into a sleek spacestation infested with yet more villains, plus robot guns.

Phil King Amiga War is blessed with some great graphics. It really is just like playing a glossy comic book with some nicely drawn baddies. Load two features an ED209 which puts the one in RoboCop to shame; it's big and moves well. But there's plenty of small details too - like how some of the men wave others on into the action. Unfortunately the actual gameplay is very difficult and repetitive.
The C64 has some nice background graphics, but the main character moves as if his legs are made out of rubber. The first villains are easy to kill, while the end-of-level baddie is too tough! Similar problems haunt level two, and as the the levels are so short the game resembles a mediocre budget release with some above-average graphics.
Scorelord Post-apocalypse New York, humans reduced to mutants, and plenty of blood-spattering action - it sounds like just my sort of game! But sadly Dinamic have forgotten to fully work out the gameplay. The first level of the C64 game is particularly dull, and level two isn't much better - despite some robot guns.
The Amiga game is bigger with a much more professional feel. Beat-'em-up addicts, at least, could enjoy this one although they'll need to be good to cope with the vicious, rabid dogs. Your gun on level two is great, complete with spent cartridges spewing out, but for the price you expect more. Even I got sick of slaughtering mutant humans after a while.