• Graphics
  • Sound
  • Playability
  • Lastability
FormatCommodore 64
DeveloperCovert Bitops
ReviewPaul and Andy

Main review

Arrggghhhhhhh, I died! I suppose I should start this review then. BOFH – Servers Under Siege, is a surprisingly addictive little game. When I did start this game up, I did liked the fire effect behind the text on the titles page. But fire aside, I jumped straight into the game, so far, first impressions last (well according to Lynx© Deodorant), good job really. Ok why am I saying that I hear you cry…? (there, there, stop crying, my reviews aren’t that bad) It’s because when I went to choose my difficulty, I pressed left to change it to Easy (as you will see in another review of mine, I tend to do that first), but I wanted to see what other difficulties there were so I pressed right. And pressed it harder, and nothing happened… So Left rotates through them all, right? Nope, I pressed down, and it went through them also, then I found right did work, and up, so up and down are the same as left and right, that works for me, but why oh why didn’t right work initially? Lets blame the emulator on that one for now, don’t want to pull a game down on a menial thing like that especially if it isn’t the game or programmers fault.

As for the game itself, I am going to point a few things out I didn’t like, and then you can assume that I did like the rest of it – the reason I am doing it this way, is because I actually did like the game and I was finding it difficult to find things wrong. Not that I was looking for faults, I like to call it constructive criticism. Okay, I digress, back to the review. First and foremost, that control mechanism; wow that was difficult to get to grips with, I can see why it has been done that way. Because of the directional shooting you had to rotate, but I would have liked it to be, push up and the guy turns around, and walks upwards, pull back down and he rotates 180 degrees and heads back down and the direction you are facing is the shooting direction. I did get to grips with it, but it took time, and I can imagine if I was to put this game down for a while, it might take time to get back into it.

There was one thing I would have liked within the levels (and this is just me) but the stairs could have had arrows on or some other indication. Also, on the main screen there is no level (as in level/height within the building) indicator, it took me a while to notice the stairs actually looked like they were going down. It’s only a small niggling thing, but something I could have done without. And the music, I have to say I am glad the PC (again emulation) had a mute option…. it wasn’t for me. The weapons, as much as there seemed to be a good variety, Uzi, pistol, flame thrower etc, but they didn’t seem to fire at the point of the target square. It might have been me, as you might remember (as it’s mentioned just now in this review) I didn’t really like the control mechanism, so I might have been doing things wrong. I didn’t notice I wasn’t killing things though…

To conclude, BOFH – Servers Under Siege, if I had played a demo and I saw it on the shelf in the shop, I would spend my hard earned cash, but (and there is always a but) I think I would prefer the additions that I have mentioned. But as beggars can’t be choosers, I would get used to the controls, keep it muted, and learn how the stairs and shooting work… Great game.

Second opinion

Lasse Oorni of Covert Bitops has done a great job of converting this very playable PC original to the C64. To be honest, had this game been exceptionally bad, I would have persevered with it anyway (wait a minute, aren’t reviewers supposed to stick with games regardless?? Errm, quietly move on…) because it reminded me somewhat of my all-time favourite C64 game, Paradroid – overhead action, sectioned rooms, different floors, enemies, computers and with humans replacing the robots. Fortunately, my bias can be disregarded since this game is a cracker in its own right.

The music and effects are very satisfying. The graphics, though a notch less brilliant, are still good and convey the action well. But it’s the strategic game play that really shines and sucks you in, once you’ve mastered the control system, which can be a extremely awkward at first. All of these aspects add to the atmosphere of creeping around a terrorist controlled building, deactivating bombs and blasting the bad guys with numerous weapons, for having the nerve to inconvenience your day – just call me John McClane!

Overall, BOFH – Servers Under Siege is a fun, addictive and playable game, which warrants more than a few hours or days of your time. It’s nice to see solid and effective C64 games of this standard being released so many years after the supposed “death” of this classic 8-bit format.