Isn't life as a young person wonderful these days? Playing in the sunshine with not a care in the world. What could possibly go wrong? Well, a nasty Dragon King could kidnap your girlfriend...
This is what has happened to Axel's lovely little friend Lucy, and Axel being the brave young thing that he is has decided to set forth to the rescue. Now he may be just a young lad, but he's not short of the necessary hero-type mettle. Just a hammer and a ton of courage is enough for him.
Unfortunately, a number of nasty creatures and obstacles lie between him and his girlfriend, such as bubbling lava pits, fluttering bats and deadly wasps. Fortunately. Axel can give some enemies a swift smack with his hammer to take them out and, if that's not enough, then broken blocks throughout the game reveal various power-ups, such as throwing hammers and a tough crash helmet which allows him to headbutt his way to Lucy.
You must guide Axel through a series of levels each with an individual style and atmosphere before you can ride off into the sunset with your sweetheart.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The design is very much in the Japanese arcade adventure mould, complete with platforms to bounce around on, cutesie characters and twee, iangly tunes. This style of graphics is usually dominated by the dedicated game consoles, so it's nice to see that us Amiga users can get a look in.
The animation is clean, the sprites are jolly and the sound is boppy. Not a quantum leap forward in programming, but just right for this kind of game.
At first death comes very easily to poor old Axel, but once you've worked out the locations of the various power-ups things get a little easier. Completing the first zone gives you an incentive to crack the higher levels, just to see what the next area looks like.
The 'continue play' option means that you don't easily get bored by having to start from the beginning every time, but it cer- tainly doesn't make an easy task of reaching the end of the game.
The trouble is that all possible variations on the platform game have been tried, so any new release has to be something really special. Axel's Magic Hammer is by no means a terrible game - the gameplay is lively, the graphics and sound are jolly and the atmosphere cute - but it doesn't quite have that spark which raises it above other games in the field.
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