Someone has finally built a better mouse trap. It's a trap so good, so deadly, that it doesn't restrict itself to rodents and does a neat sideline in people mashing too. The trap has been baited with magic scrolls that give the user unimaginable powers - if they live long enough that is.
Taking the form of a traditional horizontally-scrolly arcade adventure, DT is made different by the inclusion of Dungeons and Dragons style magic adding to the strategy and gives it a more flexible feel. The magic isn't pre-set, you have to make your own mistakes.
Starting out with nothing more than a trusty knife, you have to stab your way through hordes of giant frogs, bed-sheet ghosts and demented Egyptian wizards. Luckily, killing some of these boys earns you a portion of potion. There are three different coloured potions: red potion can be used to conjure magical weapons, green increases your spell capability and blue gives you healing powers. But what, dressed as our silly-trousered hero, do you actually have to do, though? Well, there are five levels of dungeon in which Shankriya - the game's big nasty - has hidden five stolen magic scrolls. Being a magician of great renown, he has devised a rather fiendish set of labyrinths filled to the brim with cunning traps to make retrieving the scrolls fatally difficult. Two of the more common traps - if not particularly cunning - are concrete slabs dropping from overhead and spikes that pop out of the floor.
Pope in the Woods
Is the game difficult? Are bears catholic? Does the Pope live in the woods? No, but that's beside the point because the only end-of-level guardian you'll see for a while is the unattractive giant slug on the back of the box. Death Trap tests the mind and reflexes, as the same trap is triggered time after time. The potions, though, are the key to the whole game and you must learn to distribute them wisely. A stab of the spacebar brings up a potion menu. From here the potions that have already been won can be used to give your poor player a much needed boost by casting a spell. A menu of the various concoctions is available, all you have to do is slide down to the one you want to cast. Then, providing you've enough of the relevant potion, the spell takes effect.
If you've more potion than is required for the basic spell you can pump-up its power by blowing more juice on it. This has the desirable effect of increasing the spells potential, but the present costs have to be balanced against future needs. If you don't make the most out of your potions, the end is nigh.
Among all the confusion it is easy to forget the tidy graphics that binds this game together. The sprites are well animated while the background is partly interactive. The scrolling is weak, at times tending to lag behind the player when he jumps or crawls. This is just slightly disorientating.
Unfortunately there is no music, apart from an atmospheric intro tune. Ostensibly the graphics and sound serve their purpose, making the game attractive without dominating the gameplay, a fault which is common in other examples of the genre.