Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Fred'

Rating:4 User: The Dean of Games

1984 Investronica/Indescomp (Spain)
by Carlos Martinez, Francisco Gonzalez, Fernando Briega & Juan Delcan

Fred is one of the earliest Spanish games published and is still considered one of the best.
The action happens inside a pyramid, where Fred, an intrepid explorer, tries to move is way up to the exit. The game features big and colorful graphics quite unusual for 1984, and with simple but effective sound effects.
The player moves is way inside a maze, featuring ropes everywhere conducting to the exit, inside the pyramid, there are several nasties, like ghosts, mummies, lizards, rats, etc. Also some objects of interest, like bullets, health elixirs and treasures, which will add points to the ending score.

Now, the flickering scroll is probably the worst aspect of the game, although functional enough. But what I consider the least appealing feature of the game is the difficulty level. Unlike many Spanish games, Fred is quite easy. In fact you can end the game several times, and play again but in a slightly harder pyramid, which happens to be the exact same pyramid, but with a different automatically generated maze, populated by the exact same nasties and objects to collect.
In other words, after you find your way to the exit for the first time, which can happen in a few minutes, you will then play the same routine time and time again.
The novelty factor rapidly wears off. This could be avoided if in each new pyramid, new nasties were introduced or something new.
Anyway, Fred is a fun game and quite good for 1984.