Do you believe in god?

Treasure Trap logo

We aren't saaiiillliinngg, we aren't saaiiillliinngg, under the waatttteerr, under the seeaaaaeeaaa. Not, that's not quite right, is it...? Ahem. Like a bridge under troubblleeed waattterrr... Nope. Definitely off course there.
Ah, I have it - the definitive musical accompaniment to Treasure Trap. Altogether now: Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground. Into the blue again, into the silent water, under the rocks and stones there is water underground. Letting the days go by, into the silent water. Once in a lifetime, water flowing undergrounds. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was.
There's more to it, but I sense a writ from EMI if I continue.

Treasure Trap is all about money and being under water. It's about searching the 100+ rooms for every single bar of Esmeralda's gold. Swipe all the gold and win the game? Easy, huh?
Hardly. Treasure Trap marks a return of the isometric 3D arcade adventure made famous by Ultimate so many years ago and given a brief reprise last year by Microdeal with Airball. Considering how good these games were, it's a surprise it's taken so long for another stab at the genre.

Anyway, being underwater, Treasure Trap deals with all things aquatic and, naturally, an ever decreasing air supply. Mapping is essential, as is noting where the canisters of oxygen are.

While a good gulp of the invisible stuff is to be recommended, don't waste it by grabbing a canister while you still have a nearly full tank. The result is that your driver's suit bulges at the seams and the little man takes on the aspect of a very fat person indeed.

After a rip gurgling tune on the intro and title page (listen and watch it all the way through) the rest of the sound effects in the game live up to the high standard set, perfectly complimenting the underwater thievery.
If there's any gold in a room an indicator flashes. This is just as well because half the time you can't see it. Moving boxes and crates, patrolling jellyfish, starfish and killer crabs are all there to help or to remove one of your five lives.

This being an arcade adventure, there are locked doors requiring various types of key, which thankfully do not disappear once used. The catch is that you can only carry four of them. The gold disappears into some sort of aquatic Barclays Bank automatically, so you don't have to carry it around.

There are puzzles aplenty, some of them bordering on the Fu Man Chu for fiendishness. You can't get behind these crates where the gold is? What do you do? You use a loose crate to make a patrolling fish detour round the back and involuntarily push the gold out.
When the fish-like menace grows to great, or you find yourself trapped by a clutch of crabs, let loose the killer piranha! This is the fishy equivalent of a smart bomb - it goes into a beserk feeding frenzy, consuming every living thing in the room, except yourself, thankfully.

The 100+ rooms are going to keep you busy for a while, but none require Mensa eligibility to solve or table tennis player reactions to execute.

With balanced gameplay, good graphics, snappy sonics and a sense of humour which nothing else has these days, Treasure Trap represents a return to traditional gaming values. A decent challenge, and a damn fine game.



Treasure Trap logo

ELECTRONIC ZOO £24.99 * Keyboard

Isometric 3D, popular in the mid-Eighties, is now making a comeback. The advantage of this technique is that each location in a game can contain a great deal of graphic detail. The setting here is a sunken ship containing gold which you are trying to recover. The ship is composed of 100 rooms, most containing gold bars, aquatic lifeforms intent on destruction and man-made hazards. As in all games of this type you can jump and pick things up - the two essential abilities for solving the problems in each room.

The gold bars are sometimes in each but more often are hidden away or perched in awkward places. Getting them involves pushing objects around, using lifts, making smaller creatures go where you cannot and generally outwitting the beasties. Many things can whisk away one of your lives - and your air supply must constantly be replenished by collecting oxygen tanks.

Helpful objects include keys and 'smart' fish which act like a smart bomb, swimming round and killing off all dangers in a room.
There is plenty of ship to explore and it looks good too. Excellent title music rounds off the feel nicely. However, the puzzles in each room are fairly simple and that means the lasting interest dips once you have explored the ship, which should only take a few days. It is fun, but although the map is complicated enough, the rooms are not.



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Die meisten von uns verband vor der Verlobung, mit der "Freundin" eine gestandene Männerfreundschaft mit dem C 64. Daher dürfte vielen ein Genre in bleibender Erinnerung sein, das am Amiga von jeher sträflich vernachlässigt wurde: Das 3D Action-Adventure. Electronic Zoo, die Macher von "Battle Squadron" haben die fast ausgestorbene Spielgattung neu entdeckt!

Anno 1856 beendet die S.S. Esmeralda eine Routinefahrt vom warmen Afrika ins regnerische England in den stillen Tiefen des pazifischen Ozeans. 71 Jahre lang konnten sich lediglich die Fischlein an der prachtvollen Ladung erfreuen: Unzählige Goldbarren im Wert von 20 Millionen Dollar, die eigentlich dazu bestimmt waren, die anzukurbeln, ruhen 300 Fuß tief unter der Meeresoberfläche. Aber nicht mehr lange! In der Rolle des Unterwasserexperten Howard Kelp stülpt sich der Spieler einen altmodischen Taucheranzug über und versucht den sagenhaften Schatz zu bergen.

Die Suche nach Ruhm und Reichtum führt durch über 100 Räume voller Gefahren und kniffliger Puzzles. Wie es sich für solch ein Spiel gehört, sieht man das geschehen leicht schräg von oben, was in diesem Fall nicht nur einen sehr plastischen Eindruck vermittelt, sondern ausnahmsweise auch einigermaßen übersichtlich ist. Und Übersicht ist hier schon wichtig, denn die Goldbarren befinden sich oft an den unmöglichsten Stellen!

Um an die Klunker heran zu kommen, muß der Held häufig das Mobilair verschieben und dann auf Kisten, Tische oder Stühle klettern. An sich kein Problem, wären in dem Wrack nicht auch massenhaft gefräßige Haie, bösartige Quallen, elektrische Ale, Seeschlangen, Piranhas und manch anderes unangenehmes Meeresgetier unterwegs. Desweiteren haben es "intelligente" Minen (verfolgen einen unaufhörlich) auf die fünf Bildschirmleben abgesehen, wieder andere Objekte beamen unseren Taucher in noch unbekannte Räume. Obwohl sich die meisten Gegner nach einem festen Schema bewegen, ist verschärfte Kopfarbeit angesagt, um die jeweils richtige Strategie für jeden Raum zu finden! Zu allem Überfluß muß auch der Sauerstoffvorrat immer wieder an speziellen "Tankstellen" aufgefrischt werden.

Nun, das Spielprinzip ist wie gesagt nicht das Neueste, war aber in solcher Perfektion bisher noch nicht am Amiga zu sehen. Und das in jeder Hinsicht: Die Grafiken sind sehr liebevoll gezeichnet, die Animationen herrlich geschmeidig, die Titelmusik ist eine Wucht, und während des Spiels gibt es reichlich Sound-FX. Daneben runden kleine Gags wie eine zuschaltbare Karte der bereits durchsuchten Räume, oder die Tiefseeversion der Smartbomb (ein Smart-Fish, der alles zerletzt, was sich bewegt!) das atmosphärisch dichte Unterwesser-Abenteuer ab. Wer auf eine gelungene Mischung aus Action und Knobeln steht und auch vor schwierigen Denksportaufgaben unter Zeitdruck nicht zurückschreckt, sollte sich Treasure Trap unbedingt einmal ansehen - es lohnt sich! (M. Semino)



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Electronic Zoo
Price: £24.95

If you look back through the dark and murky history of the software industry, you will find that one of the biggest gaming breakthroughs ever happened roundabout 1986 when 8-bit programming team Ultimate invented Filmation, a forced perspective 3D generating system that added a whole new realm of realism. In these days of filled polygons the programming world seems to have forgotten about it. Until now that is...

You have one option - go down deep beneath the sea and rape the sanctity of a sunken ship in search for gold. Below the sea at least, you do not have to wear a cap...

Every room holds a challenge like going into the corner of a room, leaping onto a table, taking the gold and then rushing out avoiding the killer fish and floating mines which infest the wreck...

Then the things start getting tough. Push boxes and tables around to give you access to other parts of the screen, or just use them to stop fish from getting at you. There is a lot of thought involved, so do not expect to wiz through the game. This one will keep you going for weeks.

If you find yourself in a position where you cannot move without being killed, then it is time to bring in the smart fish. One tap on the S key and a crazy heavy metal fish will swim on screen towards the nearest enemy, and then go into a headbanging frenzy, killing everything on impact.

To a large degree this game is both challenging and entertaining. The only problem I have with it is that the controls are just a little too clumsy and unresponsive. Maybe if it did not take so long to move in a given direction, half the puzzles would not be so tough. Still, it is a game that is definitely worth submerging yourself in.



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Ever since Santa brought him a deep sea diver outfit for his Action Man, David Wilson has had a penchant for romping about in underwater wrecks. So we sent him to the depths of Electronic Zoo's new game Treasure Trap.

Electronic Zoo are a relatively new name on the games front. Spawned from some ex-MicroProse bods, the company have been content in the past to market other peoples games (like Battle Squadron). Now they are looking to produce new hardware as well as their own software. We gave you a sneak peek at Xiphos last ish and now their first actual release - Treasure Trap - a puzzle game in the classic mould.

If anyone out there has come to 16-bit gaming via the 8-bit then they may well lovingly recall 3D isometric puzzle games like Ultimate's Knightlore and Alien 8, Bo Jongeborg's Fairlight and Ocean's first Batman game. Take this formula, add a sprinkling of humour, state of the art graphics and a neat mapping facility and you've got Treasure Trap.

Amiga reviewDavid: You start the game in the sunken wreck of the Esmeralda with the task of recovering the gold in over a hundred rooms. To hinder you there are numerous dangerous sea creatures, fatal to the touch, oh and your limited air supply. Each room containing gold represents a puzzle in itself, so you have to keep your wits about you. As well as gold, there are keys and extra air cylinders for you to collect. Not all the creatures are dangerous and some you can actually jump onto(!) to ride over danger - others can be manipulated to help you. Objects in rooms can also be utilised to help solve puzzles.

For particularly nasty rooms full of horrid creatures, you can use one of your 'smart fish' (I kid you not!). In lieu of a smart bomb, these fellows are brilliant little animated piranhas who whizz around and mangle all the baddies!

What's the most boring bit about playing these sort of hundred room puzzle games? That's right, it's drawing maps. Well, Electronic Zoo has taken this dubious 'pleasure' away from you. As you enter a room, an 'M' will appear in the top right of the screen. This informs you of a map update and by pressing the 'M' key you'll see a screen map of the Esmeralda with the rooms you've visited uncovered. Handy eh?

The sound and graphics are both really nice and comic and there are some good animated touches. At the bottom left of the screen is your air gauge and a nice presentation of yourself as the plump, deep sea diver in a sort of bowl at the bottom. This fetching image reflects your health. Pick up an air cylinder when you don't need it and your suit will inflate and you'll bob around on screen helplessly until the extra air's used up!

So what's the verdict? Well, just finding gold didn't quite seem enough. I mean remember the brilliant Knightlore where everything sort of gelled together, didn't it? Well, sure you've got to collect the gold, but after you've collected several hundred bars, the novelty sort of wears off after a while. The lack of an overall objective detracts a bit from the gameplay. But never mind, what's actually here is very slickly crafted, the control system is improved over the Ultimate games, and the puzzles are real brain teasers. Fanatics of this genre won't be disappointed. Stop



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>Electronic Zoo, Amiga £24.99

The sunken treasure ship Esmeralda has been found, and its scattered cargo of gold could make you very rich indeed. So it's on with the rubberware and brass helmet for some deep sea diving. The ship has over 100 rooms, all presented in isometric 3-D. Needless to say, the Esmeralda is packed with marine life, from friendly Stingrays (which allow you to ride on top of them) to lethal octopuses, starfish and even homing mines! In an emergency you can release a smart fish, a nasty piranha which chomps up the baddies!

You begin with six lives and a full tank of oxygen - which can topped up by picking up air cylinders. Differently shaped keys can be collected to locked doors. Whenever you collect a multiple of 50 bars of gold there's an opportunity to save the game.


Robin Hogg I love the intro, the concept of underwater exploration and the idea of paying homage to a classic genre. I'm not too sure about setting the game within the confines of a ship and staying there: why couldn't our diving friend explore outside the ship and provide a bit more graphic variety? It's a fine game as it is but prolonged play reveals little new in the way of graphic style. The game's certainly fun, though, and there's a lot of enjoyment in getting through individual screens.
Scorelord The bizarre intro, complete with a paddle ship and magnificent soundtrack, really sets the scene. Speaking as a fan of the superlative Knight Lore and Alien 8 I have to say the puzzles aren't spectacularly new, but the familiar gameplay has been given a great new undersea twist. Racing to get the fastest 50 bars etc is a good scoring system, the different scoring systems maintain interest. With amusing graphics and FX, this is well worth buying.