Angst: an acute but non-specific sense of anxiety or remorse. OK, so it’s a Collins dictionary and thesaurus definition of the meaning of the word. But it could also fill in as an explanation of how you would feel about the game after a couple of hour’s play.
It’s certainly how I felt after a couple of day’s play. Although the non-specific part of the definition became a lot more concise and succinct. The main problems with Angst are the lack of atmosphere, the barrenness of the locations visited, the dearth of distracting side tasks, the tetchiness of the control design and the lack of any entertainment value.
The view is taken from a first-person perspective, making Angst look and play like a poor man’s Dungeon Master.
Normally when Amiga Format takes screen grabs of a game, we look out for moments that show off its good points, or its action points, or its curiosity points. Anything that’ll make the casual reader flicking through the mag in the shop look twice, maybe read some of the copy and buy AF that month.
And that’s another reason why Angst is so disappointing. It doesn’t manage to sell itself on any level – from the design, to the graphics, to the control system, to the gameplay.
Take the design of the main screen. It’s littered with boxes of all sorts which vary from Inventory Held to Health Left. One of the most important boxes is the Map Screen which constantly updates so you know where you are in a localised area.
Yet the map screen is shunted in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen surrounded by detritus. Not only is it too small, but it should also be located beside the main screen, so you could pay more attention to what’s actually appearing on the main screen. But, alack and alas, it’s not to be.
So, let’s take a look at the control system while we’re in this game mechanic criticism mode. On the plus side, rather than having to click the mouse on the directional arrow keys, you can use the cursor keys instead. Annoyingly though, rather than having a sidestep key to help traverse all those difficult L-shaped corridors, you have to go through a 90 degree zigzag movement. Other than the conventional direction keys, the only other direction that can be undertaken is a full 180-degree rotation. It may not sound like a large transgression, but when you're traversing a section of corridor you know well and have to indulge in a load of mechanical 90 degree manoeuvring, it soon becomes tedious and irritating.
So that’s it. I’d like to recommend this game. And I suppose I could if it was £10 maximum, but at full price, it’s just too uninspiring, flat and lifeless.