[Acorn Gaming]


old previews - Last Offence

Modus Software are currently (ha ha!) putting the finishing touches to their brand-new Acorn-only game, Last Offence, with completion due within the next couple of months.

[In-game picture]Set in the near-future, the game places you in the role of a law enforcer who must defeat criminals, destroying their key equipment whilst retrieving stolen items and neutralising their gang leaders. Your task is necessary to stop them from assembling a weapon of unknown range and power, for which they have recently stolen parts. You must make this their Last Offence.

So much for the story, then. This is a standard side-on platform game, with two-layer parallax scrolling, and some nicely animated enemy denizens. In fact, just about everything in the game is well animated with plenty of frames of animation and lots of attention to detail. Your character performs most moves (of which he has several) smoothly and realistically, although I have my doubts about why he can run very quickly and yet takes ages just to turn and face the other direction. He can climb ladders, slide about, and fire one of various weapons, for example. At certain stages in the game you can also acquire a hoverboard.

[Level intro screen]One of the best things about this game is the sheer variety of things to do. You can interact with various parts of the scenery in different ways. Hang on it, activate it, destroy it - all these are possible at particular times. You can also pick up a variety of power-ups, including a useful map to the level. I'm worried that some of the levels may be a bit on the large side, but we'll have to wait for the finished product to know for certain.

The game oozes quality. It's not quite up there with games which have had millions of pounds spent on them, but then you wouldn't expect it to be! For an Acorn-only game it is considerably better than average - well-drawn graphics, with attractive, detailed introduction screens; competent, atmospheric music and sound; configuration options to give you control over the game; and a nicely presented high-score table! The introduction and inbetween-level bits of the game use the ArtWorks renderer module and outline fonts to make sure you get a high-quality display if your computer is capable of it.

[Main menu screen]Control over your character is adequate, although as I said turning is annoyingly slow (this is a real issue since enemies appear behind you as you walk), and sometimes the game refuses to let you descend a ladder you are over without turning around. But I can live with these niggles, and overall it is considerably better than every other home-grown Acorn platformer I have played - and a good-many other ones, too, for that matter. I particularly like the sense of real power you get with some of the gun upgrades!

You can judge the game for yourself by downloading a demo from the UK Digital Databank BBS on +44 1707 323531. Retrieve file number 018454, but be warned that is is 1173107 bytes in size! Alternatively, a demo is available from Modus Software (+44 1236 722202) on receipt of an SAE and disc. If you want to place an advance order for the game then it costs £30 inclusive, or £25 if you can provide proof of purchase of High Risc Racing, their previous game.

Modus Software
PO BOX 3148
G67 2YB
United Kingdom

...this page last updated: 29/5/97...
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Dark Future
Eat My Dust
F16 Fighting Falcon
Iron Dignity
Super Snail 2
Toybox Dreams

Abandoned games
Darklands, Fantasia's ToyParty and VOTI's EMD have all reported signs of life in the recent past, whilst Skirmish is apparently still ongoing but is way behind schedule and it looks like it might well never make it out. TEK and Iron Dignity are still on the way, although again both are pretty heavily delayed. And as for R-Comp's port of F16 Fighting Falcon, it looks like it will never be released, having been killed by frame-rates that were just too low.

Full Tek review now online - finally!
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©Gareth Moore 1993-2003

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