LITTLE NATHAN'S BORED. He's bored with his toys, he's bored with his playmates - but most of all he's bored with being nice. So, swapping his romper suit for the trendiest leather jacket, shades and baseball cap that he can find in his size, he heads off to find some more grown-up kicks.
And you're along for the ride. Although you can't actually directly affect the little monster's movement as he makes his way through more than 40 levels of hazard-filled gameplay, you can - if you keep your wits about you - keep him out of trouble. But if you think this will be child's play, you'd better think again...
UP UNTIL RECENTLY, 'cutesie' games have been the sole domain of the Japanese coin-op developers - but this has changed with a vengeance. Hot on the heels of Psygnosis' Lemmings (the only other arcade-style game in recent times which has come close to this in terms of originality) comes this innovative mix of wrist-breaking arcade action and devilish strategy. And although in terms of gameplay this is light years away from the ponderous strategy of Populous, there's a genuine similarity between the two in the way that you control the environment rather than the character. If this is what looking after kids is really like, then I'll think long and hard before becoming a parent. This mischievous little devil has to be watched at all times - and before long you'll find yourself trying to think three or four moves ahead inorder to keep him on his way. The mark of a truly great game (as this undoubtedly is) is that the player never has to think about the interface: even if you haven't studied the accompanying pamphlet, it only takes a couple of seconds to work out what everything does and then away you go. The puzzles are all challenging but achievable, while the graphic style is such that it very quickly becomes clear what all collected objects are and how they can be used. Unusually, there's no option to switch the music off and allow the spot effects to play on their own (although it's possible to do the opposite), but for once this makes little difference as the tune refuses to become wearing, no matter how long you spend glued to the screen - and that could be quite some time. Make no mistake, this is no childish effort -Brat is as innovative and addictive a puzzle game as you're likely to see for quite some time.
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