Sequential beastliness

Shadow of the Beast 3 logo

PSYGNOSIS * £34.99 * 1 meg * Joystick * Out now

Let me fill you in. You are Aarbron, and as a child were enslaved by the evil minions of the Beast Lord, who subjected you to hideous treatments that rendered you virtually devoid of your humanity (same thing that happened to Timmy Mallet, incidentally).

You performed your duties obediently and numbly until one day, as yet another sacrifice was herded to the altar of the Beast Lord and, well... sacrificed, you recognised the tortured face as that of your father. This would come as a bit of a shock to any lad, as you imagine, but it seems to be just what you needed - bit drastic, if you ask me.

As a flicker of your former humanity stirs within you, instantly you vow to avenge your dad's untimely end and bring down the empire of the Beast Lord, killing loads of nasties as you go, no doubt.

Several nasties are already gonners (buy Beasts 1 and 2 for further details), but there's plenty more vengeance to be had yet, so here you are.

The game begins with a dead smart intro sequence - dark, moody graphics, great sound (even though the beginning does sound suspiciously like 'Our Tune') and everything.
Aarbron is sitting comfortably in front of a glowing fire when no apparent reason a plane appears. He boards the pilotless contraption and heads off in the general direction of the Beast chap. Very convenient. On arriving in the north region of KaraMoon, you are given a choice of two levels from which to start this platform adventure (there are four levels in all, which isn't enough by any means, but more of this later).

Your sprite looks alarmingly similar to that rather more famous adventurer, Indiana Jones, right down to the once fashionable hat.
Initially armed only with Shurikans, lethal metal star-shaped throwing objects - you will come across various other weapons to aid you on your quest.

Progress is in the standard left-to-right-and-occasionally-up-and-down form. Old Aarbron moves well, although he does seem to have a bit of trouble when it comes to climbing ladders. Good job he's only a game character and not a window cleaner I suppose.

It's a fairly violent game to say the least - you won't get very far at all unless you're willing and able to stab to death any number of beasties in various appalling ways.
A nice touch, if nice is the correct term, is during the cannibal attack - whizz two or three shurikens at the slobbering flesh fiends and laugh your ruddy head off as they fall apart limb from limb. Barely two minutes go by without bloodshed of some sort of another.

Not all of the gameplay involves running, jumping and killing though - there's a substantial puzzle element to the game, as there was with its predecessors.
Beast 2 was supposedly criticised for the difficulty of the puzzles - the talky bit in the manual tells us that this criticism was duly noted and that the puzzles in this game begin quite simple, becoming progressively harder as you slog through the levels (yes, all for of them).

Look out for gold on your quest - you will need to have collected all the gold on a particular level before you can progress. Look in every nook and cranny not only for gold, but also for any of the several items that will help you on your way.

Despite the lack of levels, Beast 3 is not a game that is likely to be completed at the first attempt - at £35 it's a damn good job too, is what I say! The puzzly bits will frustrate you for sure, and the nasties are nasty enough to keep you cussing for a good few days.

Sadly, the obligatory end-of-level monster dudes let the side down - they're massive and look ready to chew some serious ass but just a few paltry hits form the weapon of your choice will see them flicker feebly and, er... die, basically.

Throughout the game the tunes are great. You won't find a thumping ballad, or even a moderately uptempo beat among them, but they convey just the right atmosphere. The effects could have been better it has to be said, but don't fret - the game hardly suffers because of it.

The graphics are nice. Did I mention they were dark? Well they are - but the details of things such as trees and the rock walls is great - and besides. You're trekking through a dark and forbidding land full of danger. If it's an explosion in a clown's wardrobe you're after, buy yourself a bleeding Megadrive.

My favourite bit is the parallax in the Forest of Zeakros - really gives you the impression that Aarbron's running fast, it does. If there's one little thing that lets the game down at all, it's the actual sprite, Aarbron. He's big enough, and is just about as detailed as any other computer game superhero you'll come across, but a couple of tweaks here and there would have been nice.

For example, when pushing an object such as a barrel or rock, he tends to use his head! I'm not saying this spoils or impairs the actual gameplay in any way, but the game has obviously had some thought put into it, and a bit of realism in the old sprite department would have been nice.

But I'm an old moaner - you know, the kind of person who finds gristle in an Uncle Ben's pie mix, and to satisfy me is to solve the collective problems of the Third World and Yugoslavia (erm... ye-es).

In short, Beast 3 is a really good all-round platformer that should appeal to the odd person who likes to use his or her brain. Indeed, I even think that Beast 3 may be just different enough from the prequels to tempt a few Beasts 1 and 2 owners.

Cashing in?

Whatever else it may be, this is one of those games that suffers from the highly contagious and seemingly vaccine-less computer game disease - Numerical Suffix-itis. In other words, it's another sequel.

Now I don't have anything against sequels per se - the Lotus offerings from Gremlin for example are all equally good, and Accolade's second Elvira was certainly not to be sniffed at. But did they offer us anything new?

I mean, I'm a relative newcomer to the wacky - and often weird - world of computer software, but a very quick glance at one of the above mentioned games is enough to assure me that any proud owner of say, Lotus I or Elvira I would be very hard pushed to find a reason for buying one of the follow-ups.

They're just not different enough, and I was a cynical man I'd suggest that perhaps - gasp! - such games are little more than money-making tools for programmers and publishers cashing in on liked and established titles.

But I'm not a cynical man, so I won't suggest that. Perhaps you have your own views, and perhaps, just perhaps, one dark and rainy night when the telly's bust, the grass is as high as it's going to get and the paint on every wall is completely dry, you'll push pen to paper and share those views with your humble Gamer chums?

Shadow of the Beast 3 logo

Any programming team commissioned to write the last in the series of Beast games would no doubt have their own ideas about which beasts really terrify them most. It would be spiteful to suggest that perhaps Originality, Innovation and Gameplay are three candidates - so call me spiteful.

But enough philosophising. Why Beast 3? Why not let a tired old genre shrivel up and die in peace? The Psygs say this is almost definitely the last Beast game and it's taken two years to write. (Not that I would ever suggest that it's because they continually did everything in their power to put off writing the thing, goodness no).

Aren't we prejudging?
Let's not prejudge. First impressions aren't good; an intro that takes up an entire disk, takes forever to load and leaves you thinking 'yes... carry on... oh, that's it, is it?'. Whack in disk two, wait another five minutes and choose a level. Wait for the music to stop, wait for the level to load and you're finally into the game.

It's all action so far. Sadly, you soon realise that the send, third, fourth and fifteenth impressions aren't really very good either. The words 'but it looks just like Beast 1 and 2' can not really fail to spring to mind as your little character bops along through the parallax scrolling (which is very nicely done) and gets knocked off at the first monster.

Half an hour later, when you've solved a few puzzles, been killed, waited for the load etc, you're unlikely to be thinking any differently, because it really does look very much like its predecessors. It plays a lot like them too: a scrolling platform shoot-em-up with puzzle-ettes here and there to get in your way.

Keys and locked doors figure heavily in the puzzles, as do levers and traps, so most of them are just a matter of searching about enough to find the right object for the job. What's annoying is that sometimes, when you first come across a puzzle, you can make a mistake that kills you outright and possibly ends the game. It's rather like those old text adventures that would kill you off at every opportunity in an attempt to make up for a lack of decent puzzles.

Can't be that bad, surely
So what are the game's good points? Its graphics. The animation of the main character isn't too wonderful, but the parallax - done, as the manual insists on saying, on a 'hardware multi-plexing playing field' - as if that means anything - makes up for it. The rest of the graphics are dark - oh, sorry, moody - and sometimes indistinct.

This being the last game and all, it would have been nice to see something different and wonderful on the graphics front. Instead, while they're competently done, they're nowhere near magnificent.

Beast 3 is possibly a game you'd buy on a whim; one you'd regret buying ever after, but keep going back to for short periods to stop yourself feeling guilty. And that's be the only way to play it: the long waits between loads, the fairly monotonous gameplay and the occasional stupid deaths drive you batty after a while.

If the Amiga is to stride manfully into 1993, it's really about time games like this stopped being the norm and turned into a nostalgic reminder of how they did things in the bad old days.


Beast 3 comes to you with a great new feature: exercise of the old grey matter. Yes, that's right, you need to think (slightly) in between the mass slaughter. At this point members of the Parliament and game reviewers might want to get an adult to help them.

Shadow of the Beast 3
Case in point. You come across this meat sizzling on a spit so, of course, as you would do with virtually everything else in theg ame, you shoot at it mindlessly for a bit until it falls off. Push it along the ground to the right and...

Shadow of the Beast 3
...put it under this huge swinging spiky affair which you just happend to notice earlier (and also just happened to notice that it falls on your rather messily if you walk under it)...

Shadow of the Beast 3
...nip back left (having noticed and picked up a key which was conveniently perched on a table) and use the key to open the cage with the dirty great monster in it. Jump up the ladder quickly when the monster emerges, all the while blasting away at the mutoid reprobates who keep on charging at you...

Shadow of the Beast 3
...and follow the monster back to the meat, which it starts eating - only to be interrupted by the obnoxious swinging contraption falling on it and making it something of an ex-monster. And so the way is now clear for you. Oh good. That's one of the easier puzzles. How do you get past the weight puzzle? How do you use the floating table? What does it all mean?

The Beast is back!

Shadow of the Beast 3 logo Amiga Joker Hit

Das erste Psygnosis Untier verdiente sich anno '89 ganz locker einen Hit, im nahezu unspielbaren Nachfolger war es dagegen wortwörtlich nur mehr ein Schatten seiner selbst. Jetzt gibt es die Nummer drei - und damit auch wieder einen Hit!

Die Begründung lautet schlicht und ergreifend, daß hier Präsentation und Gameplay stimmen: Dem verwöhnten Monster-Dompteur werden zwei Megabyte voller trickfilmreif animierter Grafiken geboten, die von stets passendem, atmosphärischem Sound untermalt sind.

Aber viel wichtiger ist, daß die fünf abwechslungsreich gestalteten Spielabschnitte diesmal auch wirklich wert sind, daß man zum Joystick greift.

Es steht dem Spieler frei, ob er mit dem ersten oder dem zweiten Level beginnen möchte, danach geht es geradlinig weiter, bis man schlußendlich dem bildschirmfüllenden Oberschlimmling Maletoth gegenübersteht.

Auch zuvor machen schon recht knackige (End-) Gegner wie riesige Flugaurier oder "kopflose" Ungetüme den Screen unsicher, dennoch ist Beast III keine reine Monster-Metzelei - aufgrund der zahlreichen Puzzle-Einlagen tendiert es eher in Richtung Action-Adventure. So steht der Held z.B. im ersten Level, der in einer Art Höhle spielt, sehr bald vor einem scheinbar unüberwindbaren Wasserloch.

Erst wenn der richtige Schalter gefunden ist, plumpst plötzlich ein Brett herunter und ebnet den Weg. Wenige Sekunden später taucht aber bereits das nächste Problem in Form einer sperrigen Holzwand auf. Ist auch hier die Lösung gefunden (das Wagenrad und der Rammbockwagen könnten nützlich sein), wird man mit einer beeindruckenden Animation der zerbröselnden Wand belohnt.

Im weiteren Verlauf der Geschichte warden die Knobel-Einlagen ständig anspruchsvoller, so muß Mr. Beast etwas aus einer Fallgrube befreien, wobei ihm nur ein Tisch, der obligate Schalter und die bemerkenswerten Auftriebskräfte von frischem, kühlem Wasser zur Verfügung stehen.

Anspruchsvoll ist auch das Stichwort, wenn es darum geht, die Gegner zu verarzten: Wie sich die Viecher hier in ihre Bestandteile auflösen, sobald sie mit der "Bumerang-Kreissäge" des Helden behandelt wurden, ist schon sehenswert! Um diese "sägensreiche" Erausstattung zu ergänzen, stolpert man immer wieder über bessere Waffen, Schlüssel, Goldbarren und andere sammelnswerte Extras.

Keine Frage, Beast III ist eine rundherum gelungene Mischung aus Action-, Abenteuer- und Geschicklichkeitsspiel, die zudem technisch hervorragend in Szene gesetzt wurde. Nicht genug damit, daß es feines Achtwege-Parallax-Scrolling, erstklassiges Leveldesign und eine ausgezeichnete Spielbarkeit gibt - auch der Held selbst war zwischenzeitlich auf der Schönheitsfarm.

Keine Spur von Ziegenbock oder zotteligem Wilden mehr, nein, er trägt jetzt sogar einen Hut und hat unverkennbare ähnlichkeit mit einem gewissen Indiana Jones! Na, wenn das keine Empfehlung ist... (C. Borgmeier)

Shadow of the Beast 3 logo

Good news for fans of Beasts I and II (both of you): Beast III is here and it's not that bad, really.

As the debate over the price of software hots up, especially after Mindscape took the bull by the horns with the £19.99 D-Generation and a number of 'premium' priced titles (you know the ones we mean) proved to be spectacularly unworthy of their inflated tags, it seems like a funny time for a game like this to be going out with a £30 sticker attached to it.

I mean, the general consensus of opinion regarding the Beast games now seems to be that they were interesting demos of the Amiga's capabilities, but severely lacking on the game front, and the days when the name alone was enough to guarantee thousands of sales at £35 (as with Beast 2 and its 'free T-shirt) would appear to be long gone.

To see the swaggering out naked of extra promotional goodies, then, is even stranger. Whatever can Psygnosis be thinking of? Could it be, perhaps, that they've just got a really good game this time?

Could it be they've got a good game this time?

Sorry, I don't know what came over me there. 'Really good game'? Shadow Of The Beast? Shurely shome mistake?
Well, no, not exactly. Y'see, Shadow Of The Beast III is - sit down for a moment kids - a Good Game. There's no getting away from the fact, this is, first and foremost, a Game with a capital 'G'.

Oh sure, it still looks pretty, it's still got big impressive music, all that stuff, but this time it all hasn't been used as a substitute. Take a trip with me into the Gameplay Zone and I'll show you what I mean...

Some of you, of course, will be sitting there thinking 'What's the fool wibbling on about? I've never played Shadow Of The Beast before, I don't know anything about all this malarkey. Tch'. Logically, then, now would be a good time to rattle out a quick run-down of the previous games and their illustrious history. But I'm not going to, for the simple reason that it doesn't matter. In a similar way to the Crazy Cars 3, Beast III is a game which shares nothing with its predecessors except a name and a genre, so drawing any comparisons between this and the rest of the series would be almost completely irrelevant, save to say that it's much better and leave it at that.

What you get in Beast III is a game still rooted in puzzle-solving, but of a much more linear and much more arcadey nature than before. You get four main levels to tackle (with a big showdown with Maletoth, Big Cheese Of Badness, at the end), each with an overall objective (the collection of a particular object which will help you in your final battle) and a whole slew of lateral thinking obstacles to overcome before you get there.

Some are stand-alone puzzles, while others are interlinked, in that completion of one part will give you an object or ability that makes some other bit of the level become possible, but most of the time if you simply walk along and solve things as you come across them, you won't have much in the way of doubling back and cross-referencing to worry about.

Thrown in on top of all this is a truckload of bad guys for you to massacre and some nasty end-of-level bosses who'll give you an aching joystick hand to worry about on top of your already-protesting brain. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Well, it is. Basically. But...

But there's a 'but'. Isn't there always? Isn't life always horrible like that? The 'but' in Beast III is a big one, and it's that it's a little one. Where Beasts 1 and 2 made up tor their lack of gameplay quality at least a little bit by being gargantuanly enormous, Beast III is a tiddler by comparison.

Oops. I said I wasn't going to do any of those, didn't I? Well, forget the other Beast games, then Beast III is pretty titchy in its own right. Of the four main levels, each has maybe half-a-dozen main problems to solve, and while they get a good deal more complicated and involved towards the end, they're still not really all that demanding of anyone with a decent grasp of logic.

Beast III is pretty titchy in its own right

The nastiest aspect of them is that some allow you one slight mistake before the whole thing's rendered impossible, leaving you no alternative but to get killed and start over again (although each one does at least have a couple of restart points).

As a guide, I'd say that once you've worked out all the solutions, playing right through Beast III from beginning to end would take you somewhere in the vicinity of 20 minutes. That's not by anyone's standards, an awful lot of game, and I reckon that hardened Beast fans especially are going to be reaching the end by the time they feel they've really got started.

The puzzle nature (the arcade bits aren't really demanding enough to provide any significant challenge by themselves) means that it's not a game you'll play after you've finished it (the joy and reward in a game like this is working out how the hell you do each particular bit, putting your theory into practice and feeling really pleased with yourself when it actually works out, and you only get that feeling once from each puzzle), and that means that you're going to be getting, I'd guess, no more than an absolute maximum of two weeks entertainment out of this game.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Well it is

Of course, that's if you've got the willpower to do it all yourself and not just read the playing guides which will undoubtedly appear in every magazine under the sun immediately after the thing comes out. Which is something I'd like to go into for a moment, if you don't mind.

I'm a bit confused, y'see. Personally, when I've got a problem, I like to solve it myself. I don't get any kicks out of letting someone else wet-nurse me through it. Do you think say, Linford Christie would get any sense of achievement if he won the Olympic 100 metres by being towed along on rollerskates behind a car when everybody else was running?

Of course, it's easy to say 'Well yes, but I just keep getting stuck on this one bit and I can't work it out at all, if I just cheat past it, then I'll do the rest myself', but what kind of an attitude is that? (Besides, like any addict, the chances are once you've started cheating, you won't be able to stop again).

The whole point of a bloody puzzle is that it gets you stuck and you have to stop and work it out. Otherwise they'd call it something else, wouldn't they? We had people calling us up for help on Monkey Island 2 within a day of it appearing in the shops. Where's the fun in spending between 30 and 40 quid on a game and then just getting someone else to do it for you? I honestly don't understand it - why not just hire someone from the shop to come round and play the game themselves and just show you when they get to the end screen if that's all you're interested in?

Will you try something for me, luvvies? Will you trying playing this game the real, old-fashioned way? Just this once, don't get someone else to do the interesting, challenging bits for you. Work it out for yourself. You'll have an awful lot more fun this way - you won't feel guilty when you lie to your friends about having finished it on your own and you'll feel a whole lot better at the end when your 30 quid's worth of entertainment finally does run out.
Trust me, I'm a professional.

But anyway. That's about all there is to say about Shadow Of The Beast III. It looks good, it sounds god, and the gameplay's good, but you'll have to decide for yourself whether it's worth 15 quid a week. Me? I'm not so sure.


Shadow of the Beast 3
These screenshots show the game's double-edged approach. A mind-teasing puzzle...

Shadow of the Beast 3
...while here we have a huge metal ball which attempts to do your head in in a less cerebral manner.

Shadow of the Beast 3
Then, we have a complex and tricky 'cleaning-out-the-godfish-bowl type of scenario...

Shadow of the Beast 3
...closely followed by a subtle and intriguing section where a dirty great spiky slab falls on your head.


Shadow of the Beast 3
Here, for atmospheric reasons, we present an otherwise unconnected sequence of grabs from the deeply lovely third level. First up, that scalfolding in full...

Shadow of the Beast 3
Some of the inhabitants of the world of Beast III will happily go about their own business regardless of what you do. But can they help you?

Shadow of the Beast 3
And here's that slab we prepared earlier. We didn't want to give away the game's puzzles, but this one's nasty even when you know how...

Shadow of the Beast 3
Here you are having negotiated most of the tricky bits of level three. How you're just one step away from completing your task - get the flask!

Shadow of the Beast 3
Of course, to get that far you'll have to work out how the heck you get past this bit. Still, if you know the story of Romulus and Remus you'll be half-way there...

Shadow of the Beast 3
  1. A simple problem from level three, but if you're really slow, get some help from a bird...
  2. Hey, some giant steel marbles! I just bet they'd be really fab for rolling concrete slabs across.
  3. These sloping slabs form a perfect platforms to roll big steel ball-bearings down...
  4. ...but you'll have to use the switches if you want them to actually go anywhere useful.

Shadow of the Beast 3 logo CU Amiga Screenstar

The beast is no longer a beast, thanks to a little magic from those boys at Psygnosis. Tony Dillon picks up where the squillion-selling sequel left off...

Shadow Of The Beast is still generally regarded as one of the most attractive games ever to appear on the Amiga. OK, so the actual gameplay itself wasn't exactly the hottest ever, but the large, smoothly animated sprites coupled with the kind of parallax scrolling that makes polygons look old hat made it an instant classic.

After winning dozens of awards, Psygnosis duly followed it with another scrolling adventure - albeit with a little more cerebral challenge. Again, the graphics were of a very high standard, but I couldn't help thinking that the puzzles involved were difficult to the point of disheartening. Thus, it was with some trepidation that I encountered the sequel. Psygnosis are about to let loose Beast III.

Fears that it would be more of the same vanished in the first few minutes of playing the game. Beast III stands head and shoulders above the other two, both in design and gameplay and there is still a lot of room left for some mouth-watering graphics. The plot carries on from before. The Beast Lord has killed Zedek and, as promised, has been returned to human form.

But it does not end there, though. Now there is a fresh challenge in the form of the demon Maletoth. The Beast Lord has dreamt that the demon has kidnapped his baby sister and, as is always the case, such dreams turn out to be prophetic. With his regained form, the ex-beast must face the demon once again.

The game is played over four levels with four completely different sets of backdrops and nasties (forest, temple, caves and castle). Taking a step even further away from the original, Beast III is based on a much more puzzle-orientated system where visual riddles have to be solved before you can move on, and this is really the backbone of the game.

The puzzles in Beast III are among the most original ever devised. Whilst some are obscure, others are so blindingly logical that you will sit about thinking 'no, that could not possibly work in a computer game'. They are a far cry from standard platform puzzles which merely involve placing an object in a certain location, or flipping switches to open doors. These babies require pure thought to get over.

Here is a perfect example: during the first level, you come across a platform on a swinging arm. On either side of the platform are others, but the first ball reaches the one on the right. Standing on a nearby platform you notice it swings down and to the left, but nowhere near far enough for you to reach the far level. Walking back a little you discover a large ruck. Pushing it over to the middle platform causes it to also start swinging - but sill not far enough. However, jump on the platform itself when the rock is on it, and it falls far enough to let you carry on..

This is one of the more straightforward puzzles, and I do not want to go into too much detail about the others for fear of giving too much away. Suffice to say, though, that later on you have some fun with tables with breakable legs which can be used as seesaws and ramps, along with melting metal balls and an aquarium with a crane attached.

In fact, the aquarium puzzle is definitely my favourite in the game. Initially you are presented with one of those sliding puzzle games that we all used to find in our stockings at Christmas. In this case, it is a diagram showing a fishy food chain, and which of the many aquatic species is the only one that cannot harm you.

Once you have pieced it together, note the inoffensive fish and then progress onto the next scene. This is made up of three tanks and a crane. Stepping into the control booth, you have to lift fish from one tank to the other, where they will kill any fish they come into contact with, until you only have one left, which with any luck will be the 'safe' one. Get the wrong one, and you will be dead as soon as you step into the water.

You should now have some idea of what sort of puzzles this game contains. The best way to describe them is that they are much more along the lines of text adventure problems than arcade puzzles, and that is basically the whole point of the game. There are roughly five different puzzles to each huge level (one to each disk) and each puzzle can be spread over half a dozen screens, so there is a fair bit of looking around required before you can even start to solve the visual riddles.

There are essentially two weapons in the game, each with their own specific uses. You begin armed only with an infinite supply of shurikens, but if you look around carefully enough you will probably find the hammers located somewhere nearby.

The basic rule of thumb is that the shurikens are used for destroying things and the hammers are used for pushing things. At the start of the temple level, you come across a ball swinging from a chain. You need to get the ball swinging and then knock it down a nearby hole. If, however, you fire the hammers at it, it will begin to swing. Hitting it again causes it to swing more wildly, until it is swinging as high as you need it to. Shooting it now will (hopefully) send it flying in the right direction. By using the weapons in the right ways, you would be surprised at what you can do.

That is not to say that the game is not crawling with action. Although nowhere near the blasting frenzy that was the second title, Beast III still has its fair share of hostile enemies - although not so many 'cannon-fodder' types as the first. The game is played over an eight-way-scrolling play field, and contains all the best aspects from the first and second games - i.e. glorious backdrops and incredible multi-level parallax scrolling.

Speaking of the graphics, you will be pleased to know that they are still of the same high quality set by the previous runarounds. Everything has a distinct Rodney Matthews feel to it, from the mountainous backdrops to the giant skulls and fire-breathing stone gargoyles.

By using dimmer colours and some clever shading, the game looks dark and oppressive - a far cry from the barrage of console-style platform games hitting the Amiga of later. The colour scheme also extends to the sprites which fit in with the game's 'look' perfectly. If there is one thing that can spoil the look of a game, it is sprites that look out of place and awkward.

Beast III is certainly very playable. As far as I can see, thanks to some superb responsiveness on the part of the main sprite, you are more likely to die by hitting the escape key rather than through loss of energy due to the way puzzles are laid out. The trick to solving most of them is to work out the chain of events and then start the ball rolling from the right point. Doing the wrong action before it is time causes the whole puzzle to go wrong, but for some strange reason you cannot help trying again. However, if you cannot stand games which rely on trial and error, I would recommend you look elsewhere.

Beast III is one hell of a good game, easily the best of the three. As I mentioned earlier, I was a bit sceptical before I reviewed the game, but any doubts I had about the game's quality were quickly dispelled once I picked up my joystick and dived in.

It looks as good as the first episode and plays better than either of the previous two. Well thought out, extremely playable and highly addictive. I do no know what else I need to say to make you buy it!


Psygnosis could never be described as a company blind to their own mistakes. When work finally began on Beast III a year ago, the powers that be sat down and went through both the previous products, pulling out the bits and misses of each. With both of these they tried to build a winning formula so that fans of both Beast and Beast II (not necessarily the same people) would enjoy playing this new incarnation. The resulting ideas were then put down on paper for development Reflections to bring to life...