The Burps is a former shareware, now freeware clone of Ultimate's Atic Atac, with improved graphics, sounds and new level design. As in the original 1983 game, the player selects one of three characters trapped inside a haunted castle, each with unique weapons and routes through the maze-like building.
The main objective is to explore the map and find the key for the entrance door. Dangerous ghosts and other supernatural beings materialize on each room, milling around the character to drain some health energy. The energy meter is presented as a roasted chicken that is slowly consumed until only its bones remain on the plate. The lost energy can be restored by picking up random food items scattered around the screen. Useful items like keys can also be collected and stored on three slots at the top interface to open new passages and solve puzzles. Trapdoors and staircases give access to other floors.
The Burps is an excellent, very faithful fanmade remake of Atic Atac, one of the best games ever made for the Spectrum computer by Ultimate Play The Game, the most famous developer for that platform. The object of The Burps is very simple: escape from the castle. But it's not as easy as it sounds, since to escape, you must first discover the Golden Key of ACG (ACG stands for Ashby Computer Graphics, the company which owns Ultimate). To find the key, you have to explore the five floors of the castle which span almost 150 rooms, most of them filled with undead creatures.
You begin your adventure on the ground floor. To get from one floor to another, you must use the staircases. But you could find yourself taking a quick trip to a lower floor via a trapdoor. There are 11 of these around the castle and, although you may end up a bit bruised if you take a trip through one, the trapdoors generally lead you directly to the floor below. There are doors which lead you from one room to another. These will open from time to time to allow you to go through them. However, if you come across a colored door - red, blue, green or yellow - you will need to have a key of the corresponding color in order to get through them. These keys are of course hidden in the many rooms of the castle. You can only carry three items at a time and, since there are four colored keys, three parts of the Golden Key and various other objects dotted around the castle, you have to do a bit of forward thinking. The colored doors will remain open once you have found the keys and unlocked them, so it's better to go through the castle, opening as many doors as you can and then drop one of the colored keys.
The 150 rooms of the castle include the 'Atic' and the caverns, which contain countless rooms. Within the many rooms you will find furniture, food, drinks, objects, ghosts, ghouls, mummies, and other monsters. You have to eat and drink, so you have to do that sparingly so as not to deplete your food supply. In addition to finding the right colored keys for the right doors, puzzle elements also include manipulating objects you find to your advantage. With bright VGA graphics and a faithful rendition of the original, The Burps finally brings the fun of Atic Atac to the PC and provides proof of why Ultimate Play The Game is hailed as one of the pioneers in action/adventure genre.
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