THE concept of tying a number of small games together to produce one big one - or an ordinary sized one if you want to be cynical about it - has always appealed to software houses, and even, on occasions, to the buying public.
I can see why it's a good idea for the software house. All you have to do is produce a number of sub-
Infogrames has come up with its own version of this pot pourri concept - Purple Saturn Day - in which the dressing is very stylish, and most of the four games are pretty dull.
It's all based on an intergalactic sports day held around the hurtling rinds of Saturn. Eight different species, one of them human - that's you - compete in a knockout competition, using all four events or sub-games in each round.
The winner gets the wonderfully exciting prize of a kiss from the Purple Saturn Queen who, in true French programming tradition, is a slinky galactic nymphette. I'm sure any women playing the game will be thrilled.
Down to the games then, which consist of Ring Pursuit, Tronic Slider, Brain Bowler and Time Jump.
Technically the best of the lot is probably the first, Ring Pursuit, which has you racing through the rings of Saturn. The object is to outscore your opponent by dodging to the left and right of red and yellow is used spaceships. This all happening in 3D, and there's rocks in them there rings. Horribly metallic boings resound with every collision. And they come all too regularly. As you move on to the next event you'll realise that each has its own quite stunning title page. It's a pity the games aren't up t the same standard.
Tronic Slider is another exercise in 3D, decidedly easier to play with a joystick than a mouse.
You're on this flat playing area that's covered in bollard and there's this energy blob wobbling around. You and your competitor shoot the hell out of Mr Blob, which results in lots of blobettes. You run them over with your motorised vacuum cleaner for the points, before chasing after Mr Blob again.
It's nicely done, but can hardly be described as a thrill a minute.
The next event could have been quite good. Alas the programmers got too clever for their own good. It involves activating and deactivating circuits in a brain by means of a pointer.
Now if this pointer was just an ordinary, everyday sort of pointer the game would be too easy. So what you have is a 3D pointer which you fire at the circuits. Fine, except it wobbles around and turns accurate play into wishful thinking.
The last event, Time Jump, is more mind-
Purple Saturn Day has a number of very good features, excellent sound effects and some very effective graphic sequences. The problem is that the individual games e fairly uninspiring - there's no real desire to compete again and again.