Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Underwurlde'

Rating:3 User: Digital Prawn

I find it a non-trivial matter to score this 2D arcade adventure from Ultimate. On the one hand it has the trademark technically excellent sprite routines which are outrageously fast and smooth. There's also imagination by the bucketload and a real sense of immersion, helped by the huge game map.

On the other hand, it's a bit of a bugger to play. The pinball physics mean that very often you'll be bouncing in the exact opposite direction from where you actually intended to jump to. You can quite easily end up even in the wrong screen and falling down a great distance, just by ricocheting off another sprite. Overall I'd say the pros and cons pretty much cancel each other out, but of course the game has more depth than simply being labelled as "average" which would be a little unfair without some explanation. It's more like a game of extremes (both good and bad).

The game stands out not only because it has that memorable "Ultimate" feel, but also because of plenty of extra nice touches like bubbles floating upwards that you can jump on and ropes that extend downwards from the cave ceiling which the player can swing on in order to make a (sometimes) controlled downwards decent. The player must collect gems and also a small selection of weapons must be found to defeat various in-game antagonists. If you can keep plugging away at it, depsite the barely-controllable (sometimes almost random), chaotic trajectory of the player character then there is plenty to discover here.

Verdict: A memorable, bright and colourful game with plenty of action and quality graphics, but it could really drive someone insane.