Imagine having your body chopped off at your waist, your lower body thrown away, your skin sandblasted off and replaced by armour. You'd have to bounce around on your arms with your head and upper torso parallel to the ground. Of course you would die nowadays, but in the future that is what happens to the contestants of The Killing Game Show. These contestants aren't volunteers, but are criminals in the eyes of the corrupt "21st Century" Government. Half of them (excuse the pun) aren't really criminals at all, they're protesters against the system.......
"Welcome to the show of the universe, the one you've all been waiting for. It's the Channel KGS with what we do best lt's The Killing Game Show. Tonight we've got some MUG's prepared to do battle in our 16 pits of death. Our laboratory has also been busy preparing new HALF's - that's Hostile Artificial Life Forms. These wicked beasties are out to kill the MUG's, and the scientist have told me that they're meaner and smarter than last week, when we had a MUG go all the way to pit 7 level 2."
"For those who are new to the show we drop the MUG in the bottom of a cylindrical pit. The MUG must escape to the top before the Deadly to Organic Life Liquid, DOLL for short, rises to meet them. The HALF's will get in the MUGs way and try to kill it. We do help the MUG though - we leave special weapons, energy and keys inside the pit."
"Lets go over to pit one where contestant number one is starting on level one of tonight's game. Good luck to the contestants, they'll need it."
And so starts The Killing Game Show which has 8 pits of death, each pit consisting of 2 levels. The pits are cylindrical, but are shown as platforms on the screens 2-D view, and if you continuously travel in any one direction you'll be going round in circles. The contestants must get to the top of the cylindrical pits, using walls to climb up onto higher platforms, and removing blocks of stones with shaped keys which are picked up along the way. In pit 2 the MUG must use switches or keys to lower the chains which can then be climbed - taking the MUG to a higher platform.
HALFs will continually erode the MUG's defensive armour unless they are shot down before they do any damage. For this purpose the MUG is initially equipped with a gun with unlimited ammo. During the game different weapons, and bonuses can be picked up, but only one weapon and one bonus/object can be carried at any one time. Shaped keys must be found and used in the correct sequence or the MUG may find itself trapped on a platform with no way of escape. During this time the DOLL continuously rises at a steady rate. This acts as a timer -the MUG must get to a higher platform in as little time as possible. On harder levels the MUG can pick-up and use liquid freezer which holds the DOLL at a constant level until the freezer runs out of energy.
MUGs have 5 lives and once a level has been completed the player can place another MUG on the start that level, eliminating the need to start from pit one every time you lose a MUG. There is a playback function which replays your last life up until the point where it was lost. This replay can be fast forwarded and the game continued at any time. Once you lose all five lives you won't be able to carry this feature on to your next MUG and must start at the last pit that was reached.
The Killing Game Show is supplied on two disks, the first is mainly used for the introduction animation sequence which must be seen. During the game you can have either sound effects or soundtrack music, but not both. Each are brilliant in their own right and depends on the players' individual preference.
The game has an air of class and the small details like "Mr. I ain't going to put no name in no highscore table" being displayed when no name is entered is innovative. Although the game is quite hard it's has a good learning curve which makes it very playable, frustrating, extremely enjoyable, and must rate as one of Psygnosis' best releases to date.
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