• Graphics
  • Sound
  • Playability
  • Lastability
FormatCommodore Plus/4
ReviewPaul and Jason

Main review

First impressions…well in all honesty, I was getting a bit bemused; I couldn’t for the life of me get it going… the documentation wasn’t very informative, they do talk about the pause and level skip features but then again so does the title page of the game. Maybe it was just me, but to spend nearly five minutes getting a game started, the quickest option is to locate the reset switch and load another game in that starts quicker. A press fire might have been nice on the title screen so that players know what they have to do in order to start playing.

Looking at the graphics, I was initially impressed with the cuteness of the characters on the front page and, after and a brief thought as to Mr Iller’s first name (maybe it is Keith), I decided it was time to have a play. But first I needed to un-mute my speakers… err, no, they were already un-muted. So where is the title music? Ah well, memory restraints could have had an impact on that, or other factors… like, just not having any. Never mind, on to the game, maybe there is an in-game soundtrack… oh, there isn’t. [Goes off and sulks in the corner.] But I digress, back to the game.

After a bit of walking around, and getting used to the maze (or not as the case may be, and I had to retrace my steps numerous times) I spotted Mr K. Iller and it would appear he’d spotted me as well and, although I don’t remember the game saying anything about him having X-ray glasses, having managed to see me through about four ladders and two brick walls he made a bee-line straight for me. Running away can’t be too difficult can it? Well it would appear so, because I quickly trapped myself into a dead end, and he got me… there seems to be no randomisation on the enemy and no easy way to out-manoeuvre them when found. The game itself is playable enough, but some enhancements would have been nice; for example a map (with enough information to help, not just tell you the route), radar or some other indication as to the way you are meant to be going. I could imagine someone with less patience that me getting very frustrated and giving up.

But at least I go to level two, although I really didn’t like the graphics when I got there; they were trying to make my eyes go funny whilst I was running around and eventually, Keith reared his ugly head and hunted me down again so I died. But at least I got my name on the high score table… uh-oh, here comes another gripe; there is nothing worse than having to move back and forth across the alphabet when a simple wrap around would have made it so much easier and what is with using down and fire to enter the name, it’s fiddly and an end box in the main alphabet would have worked much better.

To conclude (and this is where I’ll probably start getting the poison pen letters) I personally wasn’t overly impressed with this game; there are probably plenty of people out there to whom this game would appeal to and I’m sure they would find it gripping, but anyone playing it definitely needs lots of patience…

Second opinion

To be very honest, I’m not massively keen on the kind of maze-based game that is more about finding the exit than what happens inbetween and that’s precisely what Find Another Way Again is; the classic randomly-generated maze game that rather cleverly uses ladders and walkways to give the impression of a platform game. On the visual front, there’s a few things to be displeased by; the scrolling really should have been executed more smoothly because it’s very choppy as is and graphically this game is never going to win an award, although Hirnbert and the nasties, rather ironically considering they’re meant to be armed and murderous, look pretty cutesy.

The sound… well, it’s just rubbish quite frankly, one sampled gunshot and a slightly irritating white noise footfall which actually had me reaching for the volume control (something i rarely find myself needing to do) after just five minutes of playing really don’t do much to add to the game at all. Yes, sparsely-used sound can really make a game atmospheric, but it needs a lot more than is present here to be considered in that light; being able to hear the nasties when they get closer to the player but still off screen would have added so much more for example.

And Paul’s spot on about the lack of a map, since the level is large and changes randomly with every play, it’s literally impossible to learn and, due to my own sense of direction often being commented on with words like “crap” and “useless” in the same sentence, getting totally and thoroughly lost didn’t take much effort. This ease with which it’s possible to get “misplaced” within the level and the way that the Iller family lock onto the player when sighted makes the entire experience rather difficult.

Which is all a bit of a shame really, because it’s not really a bad game as such and, issues with the cosmetic details like the colours, scrolling and particularly the sound aside, it only really needed a bit more work on the gameplay mechanic to liven things up a little and make it far more playable. A small scale map with limited uses like the classic 3D maze games and a little tweaking here and there would probably have sold me on this one.