NETHERWORLD is Hewson's first dip into the Amiga market having been programmed by Imagitec, designed and developed by the Finnish programmer Jukka Tapanimaka.
The game is set in a world of fantastic structures and wonderful beings. You are trapped in this mystic place, and the only way back to reality is to collect enough of the local currency to pay your way out, otherwise you'll spend the rest of your days dodging acid bubbles and dragons.
The aim of the game is to collect a set number of diamonds within a time limit and then exit through a teleport. After each level there is an intermission, and an extra life is awarded if this is successfully completed.
The playing area consists of features which can assist or hinder your quest. For example a brick smasher will shatter a wall and allow you access to the diamonds. Teleports can whizz you to random locations within the playing area in times of emergency, and demon killers allow you to destroy deadly foes simply by touch.
Extra lives and invulnerability can be picked up as surprise bonuses, but these are not advisable as they could also result in an uncontrollable ship or reversed controls.
I am little lost in summing up just how good or bad this game is. The graphics are consistent throughout and the multi directional scrolling is very smooth. The sound effects are run of the mill but the music which accompanies the title page is very good.
Netherworld is a well designed and executed game on 8 bit computers but on the Amiga it doesn't quite make the grade. True, it has some nice features and original touches like alien generators, but at the end of the day it's poor VFM. At the same price you could go out and buy Hewson's other new release for the Amiga, Nebulus, which is a far more entertaining investment.