Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Saboteur!'

Rating:5 User: Stack

I have a fairly low tolerance of mapping. Back in the day, Saboteur, awash with more atmosphere than any game I had seen, was a disappointment to me when I found out it was less about the ninja knock out arts and clocking dogs with bricks and more about finding your way about quickly.
Nowadays I can cheat a bit in games where I feel a bit lost and come to appreciate the tension, stealth and anxiety that is written into the game.
Saboteur is a graphical triumph in that without the stairs and lift shafts and underground metros and disk terminals it would have been much less absorbing. The tip tap fx are minimal, but also work well for atmosphere.
With help from the map and a reminder of the key objectives – find the bomb, swap for the disk and find the escape helicopter – I eventually completed Saboteur on ‘extremely easy’ today - a first ever success.
Now I understand why some Spec-chums say it is very completeable – I made it through with time and energy to spare. The 8 higher difficulty settings, each with variety in the challenge and timings – show that replayability was a strong consideration.
It is a superb piece of programming from Clive Townsend and well worth its place in the Spectrum hall of fame.
Gameplay is 4/5 but the top score for atmosphere is enough to drag it up to a 5.