Mafdet and the Book of the Dead logo

Software Horizons
Price: £14.95

This is a budget title and budget games have a preordained right to have an element of tackiness, right? Wrong. Since the dawn of time it seems that only one out of every fifteen new budget titles were good, and it looks like staying that way on the Amiga.

I don't think I've seen more than ten titles that could be counted as cheap on any 16 bit machine, and the only one I really had any time for was Sidewinder, and as hard as it may be to say Mafdet is definitely not one of those elite bunch of hot cheapos.

Set in Egypt (is this dejà vu or have I written this before?) you play the part of the cat goddess Mafdett who is trying to recover the Book of the Dead which has been stolen by the evil god Seth (what next, the Great Herman?) and unless it is recovered no Egyptian will be able to enter the afterlife.

Being a god Mafdet can transform into a cat as well as her normal human form (a woman the size of a Russian shotPutter). In cat mode Mafdet can run, jump and pick up objects - not too much use against the minions of Seth, but at least they don't notice you. As a woman you can swing a fairly brutal sword.

The general playing area is large, and I found myself noticing a new exit from the screens just as I thought I was stuck. Some exits are too low to allow the woman to pass through until you run into them with the cat. Other times a hole in the floor is the best way through.

The graphics are really large, though the animation and definition fail to make any lasting impact. As well as not being exactly too pretty to look at the main character is also impossible to control accurately.

Mafdet is depressing to play, it's not that cheap and it most definitely isn't cheerful.

Mafdet and the Book of the Dead logo

This adventure takes place in ancient Egypt, but don't expect Christopher Lee's Mummy to be waiting around the corner. The malicious god, Seth, has stolen the Book of the Dead and vanished into the underworld. Without this book, no Egyptian can enter the afterlife when they die.

You take the role of Mafdet, the cat goddess entrusted to retrieve the precious volume. Collecting amulets along the way is extremely beneficial to your endeavors, as some provide extra life force, while others are needed to gain access to previously hidden areas. Journeying through the many drab dungeons and mazes is made a hazardous journey because of hostile bods wearing Egyptian headpieces.

There are badly-animated swordfights aplenty, and a firm and sustained attack is the best way to make your foes disappear. Other nasties which impede your way are flying green-winged gorgons who spew forth flames and an annoying wasp which follows your movements and is very difficult to swat.

I'm not too sure about the name Mafdet, but Polly Morpheus would be a more suitable name, as the long-limbed heroine has the power to turn into a cat in order to help pass some obstacles.

Sad to say, Mafdet provides little in the way of exciting gameplay. There's very little variation or challenge in the adventure. However, the lurid graphics are one of the best things about the game, as the garish green and yellow hues used certainly make the game stand out.

A game for those who aren't particularly bothered about the trivialities of dull and bog-standard gameplay.