The Bitmap Brothers have become synonymous with excellence. Their impressive list of games reads something like a hall of fame: Xenon, Speedball, Xenon II, Cadaver, Speedball 2 - everyone one a number one! Now comes Gods, a platform game with a difference.
The game is based on happenings in Greek mythology. As the hero of the game it is your task to complete a series of levels, defeating all-manner of blood-thirsty beasts as you go. All of the game takes place within a city created by the great gods as entertainment. The beings from Mount Olympus lay down the challenge suggesting no mortal man could survive the traps and terrors of the city.
Many men had attempted to get to the other side of the construction, none had succeeded. Now you, a fresh young warrior, have risen to the challenge. If you fail, a slow and painful death awaits. If you succeed, you will be granted one wish from the gods.
Your heart's desire is to be an immortal yourself. Your character looks suspiciously like that of Greek strongman, Hercules. Whether or not this is the case is not totally clear as you seem to wear an ornate helmet throughout the action.
The point of the game is not to simply battle your way to the end of each level before taking on a formidable-looking enemy. Indeed, Gods also includes a range of taxing puzzles which must be solved.
The game utilizes a fair degree of artificial intelligence. For instance, one of the first puzzles sees you collecting a stone pot. The game's message bar will inform you that you have to deposit the said item in a store room. Many players will find this task relatively simple, however novices may need a little help and the game will aid slow learners with extra hints. Not only will the game give hints, it will also introduce more intelligent monsters to challenge skilled players. In addition to helping the less able, the game will also reward obvious talent. If you manage to reach the end of the first stage within a certain time limit, you will be rewarded with an extra goodie.
It is split into three definite worlds, each one providing progressively more of a challenge. Indeed, the first section of the game eases the player into the action, teaching him various strategies. The end of each particular level sees you coming face to face with a particularly mean nastie. These large end-of-level guardians can prove to be a real challenge. Should you manage to defeat a guardian and thus complete a level, you will be given a password allowing you to start at that particular point next time you play.
As you progress through the game you will encounter various monsters and traps. The former beings can be dispatched in the time-honored tradition while the latter may need more devious thought. Killing creatures will yield precious gems that boost your wealth. Other items such as keys, power-ups and new weapons can also be collected and used. Throughout the action you will no doubt encounter a shop keeper. Like the galactic salesman found in Xenon II, these fellows carry an impressive arsenal. Providing you have enough cash you can buy all sorts of deadly goodies. These range from simple extra lives and energy restoratives, to homing fireballs and spears. Perhaps the most deadly weapon is your familiar. Assuming the shape of an eagle, this beast flies around the screen taking out many of the marauding meanies.
Overall, Gods is another first-rate Bitmap Brothers game. All the symptoms are there: the great sound, brilliant graphics and outstanding gameplay.
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