Frank N. Stein

Producer: P.S.S.
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £5.95
Language: machine code
Author: Colin Stewart

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

Frank N. Stein is a nuts and bolts game, a question of placing the bits in the right place in the right order. You play the part of Frank himself, a cute little white scientific personage (he’s presumably as white as a sheet having seen a ghost). In his mansion, with its various rooms, seven bits of the monster he’s busy creating are scattered about, namely the head, shoulders, arms and legs. The object is to walk about collecting them in the right order so that the monster is slowly built up again.

Frank’s mansion has rooms with several platforms in them connected by staircases and firemen’s poles. Oddly, he cannot go upwards though, except by careful and strategic use of the numerous coiled springs — well, scientists tend to cultivate a batty lifestyle.

Additionally, there are a number of hazards sloping up and down the platforms which have a nasty habit of killing poor old Frank off if he’s not careful. On top of that, being a proficient electrician, there are some very poor connections lying about which give him a quick thrill if he treads on one.

The first screen is relatively simple in layout, but progressive screens become increasingly difficult to negotiate. In between them comes a second type of screen which is reminiscent of a ‘Kong’ game. Again there are many platforms with coiled springs and hazards. The object is to reach the top and, as with all the screens, press the plunger to deactivate the monster. One extra problem with this otherwise reasonably simple arrangement is that the monster keeps dropping white balls which fall to the bottom before rolling off to the right. These, if they hit a hazard, wait for it to pass, adding an element of randomness to the timing.

CRITICISM

COMMENTS

Control keys: Z/X left/right, SPACE to ‘activate’
Joystick: Kempston, ZX 2, Protek, AGF
Keyboard play: very good layout and responsive
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: smooth, well animated and characterful
Sound: average, could have been more for effect, but nice noises
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: 3
Screens: 50
General rating: a good, novel platform game that becomes very addictive in play.

Use of computer79%
Graphics80%
Playability82%
Getting started78%
Addictive qualities83%
Value for money78%
Overall80%

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