Oldschool Gaming - reviewing new games on classic computers
Main review :: written by Paul 

Okay, where do I start; Flash Beer, to start with, I was really looking forward to playing this, I am a bit of a "Bolderdash/Repton clone" person, I do enjoy the puzzles, the strategy, the forward thinking, so when I fired up Flash Beer, I was, lets say, and tad disappointed. The game itself comes in three parts, so I thought I'd give them all a chance and I'm going to give a short review on each one, with its good points and its bad points, and then a conclusion at the end. So let's go...

Once upon a time there was a game. Its name was Flasch Bier. It was available only on C-64 ... that was hard day for ZX Spectrum fans. They couldn't play with this Boulder Dash-class game, in turn many players should have liked ... so far ... but in the middle of 2002 year the WSS team decided to make this game on ZX-Spectrum. They planned and worked hard months-by-months and finally have finished the Game! The Flash Beer Trilogy has made!

PART 1 - WELCOME IN THE FIRST CHALLENGE OF FLASH BEER!You like beer very much, but your wife has hidden all the bottles of beer in your large house. There are only 44 rooms and if you solve them all, you'll find the way to heaven. Unfortunately she has been cleverer then you though and she has set some guards on to take care of those bottles.

You must avoid all rocks and guards and find the way to your drink!
So I'd played the game for a little bit, I wanted get a feel for it rather than just get first impressions, but there are a few things I wondered. Okay, you get trapped, and the way out is to press space, which is fair enough, but you aren't trapped, and you can still press space, so, lets say you accidentally press space, fine on a Spectrum 48k, the Break/Space key is all the way on the right out of the way, but with any of the later machines, and emulators, space is easy to knock. I know you all haven't got a hand to eye co-ordination problem, but you could have a stutter in your fingers, and pressing space, could cause you to lose a life for no reason. I think a dual key combination would have been easier. Minor gripe coming up, why put a "??" in place of 45, it is after level 44, and before level 46, so what is there if not 45? I did like the graphics, but as for the guy I feel sorry for him; the size of his nose, I really hope it wasn't based on anybody, if it is I apologise now. Now the "Pink Panther" tune, I'm thinking a better one could have been used, it wasn't the best version I've heard, but then again, I've not heard any other versions on the Spectrum. Also the first level was far to hard, for a first go, first game, first level, enough to put you off part 2 and 3, I know I persevered, but other people might not. Oh and a minor point, the walking around, did sound like it had been ripped from A&F's Chuckie Egg on the BBC.

PART 2 - THE WAY OF THE BEER. WELCOME IN YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY!
Your friends made a party to your 30th birthday. They invited you a large mansion and made a surprise. When you entered the hallway you didn't see anybody but you got a sight of a nice present, a bottle of Beer. To reach the beer isn't too easy because of your friends inhibit you from doing drinking. There are only 44 rooms and if you solve them all, you'll have a fantastic night.

You must avoid all rocks and friends and find the way to your drink!"
Ok, so I got part 1 out of the way so to speak, and headed over to part 2, principally it is the same as part 1, but different, if that makes any sense. Ok, so I played, and guess what, I actually managed to get onto Stage 2, and that is cool, I get to see more of the game. I still hear the "click click" again from Chuckie Egg, and I do apologise if it wasn't ripped, but hey, it sounds so familiar. Another thing that didn't happen in the first one, just before you start, there is a pause, what is that for? It wasn't on the first, why bring it into the second? So I died, lost all my lives, I did level one, and was expecting the same second level, and nope, didn't happen, so all that practice on level 2 before has gone to waste... shame.

PART 3 - CASTLE OF BEER. WELCOME IN YOUR DREAMLAND!
One day you slept soundly and you had a dream. In your dream you were closed in a castle with many bottles of beer. What a nightmare! Every beer was guarded by ghosts! There are only 13 rooms and if you solve them all, you'll wake up and the nightmare will be ended.

You must avoid all rocks and ghosts and find the way to your drink!
Ok, I have come to one conclusion, I must avoid all rocks, and I'm an alcoholic. This part of the review is going to be really short, why, because I'm on the third part, and pretty much it is the same. I have seen the "pause" again, before I start, I really don't like that but if it needs to be there put a message up rather than making it look like it's locked. But part 3, in general, is far, far too hard, I'm guessing that plan was because if you have completed one and two, then three should be a challenge, but hey I found the first two hard? Go figure... In general though, I have to say, if the games were not too hard and there wasn't as many enemies on the screen (and boy can they move fast if they want to) and the few little gripes that I don't like (I can't vouch for others) were ironed out or even removed, I would be quite content with this game. Overall it is a decent title which I would definitely have this on my shelf and I would pay the money to play it.

Second opinion :: written by Andy 

Beer. I like beer. Beer is my friend. Any game featuring the stuff gets my vote, right? Well, kind of. This is a Boulderdash clone (you have played Boulderdash or a clone, haven't you?) pure and simple and quite frankly, coming straight to the point, I found this quite (very) hard. Granted, as I've mentioned before in these hallowed pages, I'm no mega games player, I just like to have a more of a chance - a gentler difficulty curve would have been nice.

I found the main character a bit unresponsive at times and some of the enemies and falling blocks move really fast - too fast in my opinion. The game itself is really well presented and I particularly like the colourful graphics; all very pleasing on the eye, even if the animation is a little basic. The sound is a tad limp though. But this game is all about strategy and puzzle, something this game has in bucket loads. And the size of it! Three parts, with masses of well constructed, mind bending levels!

This would have been a great budget release in years past and the same holds true today. An enormous challenge awaits should you decide to play this, but please, if you frustrate easily, avoid.

Information

FLASH BEER

Format Sinclair Spectrum
Developer Weird Science
Publisher Weird Science
Released 2003
Price Free download
5 Euros (cassette)
Review Paul and Andy
Download Available
Screenshots
Titles Screen
Titles Screen
In-game Screen
In-game Screen
Scores
Graphics
Sound
Playability
Lastability
6
3
7
6
   Overall 7
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