Billy was just an ordinary everyday kid who loved to watch television. One day, his father brought home a brand new video recorder and some vids. Billy settled down to watch one, but found it was full of naked women and well-known Conservative MPs. Billy quickly found another tape and this time instead of the sound of the videotape starting he heard a crazed, evil laugh. He approached the screen slowly, listening carefully. Suddenly it exploded into a million tiny particles, but instead of being thrown back by the blast. Billy found himself drawn in.
He felt himself being sucked down endless tubes, tiny particles of light searing through his body. Then, as suddenly as it had started, it stopped, and the acrid smoke began to clear. Looking down, Billy realised that he was dressed as a magician. A mysterious voice boomed from above. "Billy, you are now trapped. You must find your way through the mazes and worlds I have created for you."
"There are five worlds to battle through, each with evil monsters and hazards to impede you. Should you succeed, you will be free to return to your normal life. But should you fail..." Now all this being sucked into your dad's video business might seem a bit far-fetched, but it's a damn good idea for a five level shoot-em-up.
As you might guess, you take on the role of Billy. Now I've led you to believe that Billy is a normal, everyday kid. Well I lied. To start with, he looks like a human lemming. But apart from this, he's a brave little dude - he dares to venture through five levels of danger and destruction, remember! As well as dodging the debris. Billy can dish it out with his handy weapon which can be powered up to be, er, very powerful indeed. Billy also starts off with three smart bombs which come in very useful against the awesome end-of-level baddies - in fact, they're pretty much essential.
You start in Medieval World, and as you might guess it is set inside one of those rather ace ancient castles - with some rather deadly residents. Knights, gargoyles and ghostly monks will try to stop Billy from ever leaving. Not only are your enemies against you, but the castle will try and stop you by crushing you with a portcullis or by throwing some spears.
After battling through these hazards you will reach the end-of-level baddie which in the case of Medieval World is a huge owl. This powerful beast hoots at you, causing you to lose some of that precious energy. Using a mixture of smart bombs and sheer bravery, you destroy the evil owl and progress to the next level.
It's time to shout "ride em, cowboy", because you re transported to the Wild West. This level is split into four parts - two dominated by cowboys and two by Indians. Only armed with his 'six-shooter', Billy takes on the might of dynamite-wielding John Wayne look-alikes and axe-possessing Indians. Beat this level and you will progress through more of the same. Blast the flying spaceship: in Science Fiction World, kill the gangsters in Gangster World and then fight your way through monsters, skeletons and bats In Monster World. Finish these levels and you'll go on to face your biggest foe, I haven't a clue who or what it might be - I'm good, but not that good.
Video Kid mixes old ideas with new. It's got all the old shoot-'em-up favourites like power-ups and end-of-level baddies, but gives you enough variation to keep you interested. The difficulty level is set just right so you progress each time you play it. The graphics, as you can see from the screenshots are excellent. On the sound front, there is a jolly tune at the beginning and plenty of FX throughout the game to keep the gamesplayer entertained aurally as well as visually.
So, although Video Kid is not going to set the software industry alight, its nonetheless an extremely well written and playable game. Mainly because every level is graphically different from the last, it'll keep you playing for a long time to come.
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