There are many pills and potions which claim to be able to cure baldness. Strangely enough, there has never been a product which can actually accelerate baldness. Until now.
Simply play Nebulus 2 for a few hours and marvel as you tear huge chunks of hair from your scalp in frustration. That's right, Nebulus 2 is a platform game, and quite a nippy little number it is too.
We've all seen platform games before. Ever since Chuckie Egg flickered on to the screen of the BBC we've been inundated with them. Spacemen, miners, moles and hedgehogs have all appeared on our screens, and all had one thing in common: an uncontrollable urge to jump on to any horizontal surface with a merry beep. Pogo also suffers from this affliction, which is just as well - after all, it'd be a pretty boring game if he didn't.
As in the original Nebulus, Pogo must make his way to the top of the slowly rotating tower and claim them back from the evil Uncle. Scare name, uh? Once he has achieved this, he has to make his way back down again to repair all the damage inflicted by that nasty of Uncle.
Then he hops into a waiting chopper (settle down at the back) and flies off to the next tower, via the obligatory bonus level. There are eight towers, but as you have to go up them, then down, it's really more like 16. Now I may be being picky, but if you had to rescue 16 towers from a multitude of nefarious monsters, wouldn't you choose someone a little more, well, macho? Apparently not. The blokes in charge want Pogo, a small green blob with no arms. Who are we to argue? It wouldn't be Nebulus 2 otherwise would it? Which leads us, in a round
For those who are familiar with the first Nebulus, it's similar to that. So go away and have a quick game while I explain the concept to whoever's left.
OK, imagine your standard platform game. Now take the platforms and wrap them round a tower. Add some tunnels from one side of the tower to the other and sprinkle liberally with nasties and traps, and that's basically Nebulus. You can make a model using a toilet roll and a Cornflakes packet if it makes it any clearer, but get a responsible adult to help.
Now, the rest of you can stop playing Nebulus and come back. From here on things are different. This time Pogo gets various power-ups to help him along.
Not really weapons as such, these bonus items are picked up from parcels along the way and bless Pogo with such essentials as a jet pack which rockets him round the tower killing everything in his way; magnets to lift him up to certain platforms; the spookily named All Seeing Eye which allows Pogo to have a peek at what lies in store; jumping boots which have Air Jordan-
Also available are keys which, believe it or not, open locked doors. These icons add a much needed element of strategy to the game as they are hard to find and often essential to your progress.
This is what lifts Pogo-A-
Nebulus 2 has been resurrected from the ashes of Hewson Software by Infernal Byte Systems and 21st Century Entertainment. They've stayed close enough to the original for it to be fun to play, but altered the gameplay to make it a little bit more 90s.
The graphics are clear and colourful with plenty of variety. All manner of weird and wonderful creatures inhabit the towers and no two towers are ever alike. On top of that there's a neat little picture of Uncle on the front end, getting more and more irate as you progress further through the game.
It's nice to see that the scrolling of the towers is beautifully fluid, as in the first game, which helps to make the game a little easier on the eye.
The sound is bright and chirpy, with some atmospheric howling winds the higher you go. The tune at the beginning is unremarkable but quite adequate given the quality of the sound effects. The lifts clank and creak, the magnets hum and give off metallic clangs when they hit a platform and the jet pack roars in a satisfyingly jet pack-
But where Nebulus 2 really scores well is in the gameplay stakes. It's fiendishly difficult, but a password system means that you need not go through all the levels every time you play.
There is also an option to play only the 'up' towers, only 'down' towers or all the towers, which gives you a chance to at least try other levels apart from level one. However, be warned, before you begin playing pop out and buy a nice, smart wig!
Contact with monsters doesn't kill you, it just knocks you off your perch and sends you down a few platforms, just after you spent 15 minutes getting there. Aaaargh! But you soldier on, swearing blind that this is the sort of game that you'll love and hate.
Not really a game for beginners, but veteran platform fans should lap it up. If you're looking for a new challenge, and don't really mind going prematurely bald, Nebulus 2 should fit the bill quite nicely.