The dangers of dodgy wiring explored in...

Another World logo Gamer Gold

US GOLD * £25.99 * 1/2 meg * Joystick * Out now

Never mess about with nature, that's what I say. It just isn't safe to fiddle about with atoms and stuff like that. I mean, all manner of horrendous things could be created. Big Macs for instance. Or it could be even worse.
You might create a cross-dimensional time/space continuum loophole and find yourself being simultaneously hurled into an alien environment. Well, maybe that's not quite as bad as a Big Mac, but it's not the sort of occurrence that you look forward to. Just ask Lester Chaykin.

Yeh, yeh OK so he's got a really crap name, but he does happen to be one of the bestest quantum physicists in the whole wide world. So nobody laughs at his name. At least, not to his face. Anyway, one night our Les is working late in his lab, fiddling with neutrons and things. The nature of his experiment is never revealed, but it seems to revolve around making a crackly lightning thing zoom around a tunnel over and over again.
Quite what Les hopes to prove with this I'm not sure, but I bet it's dead clever, whatever it is.

As you probably guess, things don't go as planned tonight. Pretty obvious that. Wouldn't be much of a game if all you had to do was watch a lightning thing zoom around a tunnel, have a cuppa and then sod off home to watch Prisoner Cell Block H.
So, things go bonkers. A storm cocks up the experiment and the lightning thing bursts out of the tunnel into the lab, zapping a large portion of it into nothingness. And guess which bit of the lab Les was sat in? Yup, he gets zapped as well. Zapped into, amazingly enough, Another World.
Quite handy actually, 'cos if he'd been zapped into a supermarket then the game would be called Tesco or Morrisons. Not got quite the same ring has it? So 'Another World' it is.

After watching the aforementioned events in the opening animation, you now take control of Les's destiny. He finds himself still sat at his desk, but it's now sinking to the bottom of a deep and very spooky alien lake. Sensibly enough, you swim to the top and start to explore your new habitat.

The first thing you encounter in this barren desert world are some worm things that look extremely like, ahem, number twos. But these are number twos with attitude, 'cos if you run into them they'll stab you with their poisonous sting. So you've got to squash them.

Once you've got rid of them, you job along a bit and are suddenly pounced on by this great big black monster. The smart money says that it's not friendly, so legging it is the answer.

A bit of exciting chase-type action later, and you're rescued by some tall spooky alien blokes. And they promptly shoot you and send you to their slave mines. To tell you any more than that would spoil the story for you, so I'll stop right there.

Escape is the aim of the game, and to help you on your way you've got the eternal gratitude of one of the slaves who you rescue, and a stolen blaster. And on the downside, you've got a whole race of alien hunters at your heels and a multitude of tricky puzzles to get past. Still, you've got to laugh.

Another World comes from Delphine Software, who also brought us the exceptionally scrumptious Cruise for a Corpse, so you can guess what it looks like. Except you don't have to because we've generously supplied you with screenshots.

And yes, it does look good doesn't it? Not much detail, granted, but the animation's a treat. It's to the game's credit that it's hard to tell where the intro stops and the game starts. It really is that impressive.
However, unlike Delphine's last offering, this is a much more arcade-orientated game. Very, very similar to the much lauded Prince of Persia actually.
But whereas Prince of Persia features level after level of essentially the same thing, Another World has a plot that develops as you get further in, and loads more variety. There are also shades of Space Ace, with its consecutive scenes to be solved, but luckily none of the associated playability problems, 'cos Space Ace was really crap.

There's no tune unfortunately, but the FX are excellent, and coupled with the smooth animation create a very cinematic feel to the game. The laser blats are especially good, as are the crunchy noises as things get disintegrated. My favourite, though, just has to be when the slave you rescue thanks you with a hearty "Mantoombah", whatever that means. I suppose it's the thought that counts though.

It is fairly difficult, but thankfully there's a sensible password system. Each separate scene in the game has a four letter password, so you don't have to play the whole thing each time you load it up. And although you only have one life, if you lose it you only go back to the start of the current scene.
This means that simple trial and error will get you a good way into the game, without it being too easy.

Great presentation, complementary sound effects and captivating cinema-style gameplay - what more is there to say? If you found Cruise for a Corpse too cerebral to get to grips with, then get your hands on this. A barnstormer.

The cast that's out of this world
Another World: Les Les is the hapless scientist catapultd into another world by his own experiment. A bi-product of Glaxo industries, he can't help but raise a smile when he sees a spirit level but he finds chives too complex to handle. When cornered he oscillates at a high frequency to warn ships away.
Les's alien comrade doesn't have a name, so I've called him Spud. He knows the aliens defences inside out, so if you're to escape you'll need to keep his back covered in fire fights. Oh, and he says "Mahtoombah". I love 'im. Another World: Spud
Another World: Hunter The alien hunter saves you from the monster, but then captures you for the slave mines. The aliens know how to make best use of the blasters, and they often use very advanced weaponry. Very dangerous, but you'll have to face them if you want to escape this world. And they're ugly.
This big beastie lives on the plains wher eyou find yourself at the start. If you can keep out of his reach for long enough, you'll be rescued by this chappie... Another World: Monster
One dark and stormy night in the lab...
Les sits fiddling with his neutrons, and making a crackingly lightning thing zoom around a tunnel... Another World: Les conducts an experiment
Disaster strikes and the lightning sends the experiment all squiffy... Another World: Lightning strikes...
One crackly lightning thing later and the lab, and Les, have both been zapped into... Another World. Blimey. Another World: Les is zapped into Another World

Another World logo

Delphine's flat polygon graphics looked good in Cruise for a Corpse, but they achieved little. Now they show what they really can achieve!

French graphic adventure experts Delphine, made their name with Future Wars, Operation Stealth and Cruise for a Corpse. Now, using their revolutionary polygon graphics system, they've produced an arcade adventure the like of which has never been seen before. Another World is a cinematic place, flat in tone, but rich in animation. It is a world that requires continuous acts of bravery and daring to survive. It's a world full of strange, deadly creatures that have no concept of mercy.

The Quatermass Experiment
Tricky blighters, particle accelerators. One minute you're in front of the world's whizziest computer, controlling an experiment that would have made Quatermass happy and the next you've been transported to an alien world. And as Lester K Chaykin's guide you have to usher him through the ceaseless maze of dangers that make up Another World.

At the end of the intro you're thrown in at the deep end. The desk Lester was sitting at when everything went weird, suddenly materialises in a dark lake. You have to wrech the joystick upwards and guide the confused scientist to surface. Another World doesn't pull its punches, from the very first screen to the very last, Lester's life is under threat.

Let Lester swim too long in the lake and you'll realise just how hostile Another World is. If he doesn't drown first then tentacles snake out from the lake bed searching for their lunch! Swim slowly to the surface and they follow, forcing you to flee the screen.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire! Running takes you into leeches that can kill with a single bite. Stamp all of these to death and a mountain lion on steroids muscles in. Its glaring white fangs and roar shows that it too is hungry and that it sees you as the day's main meal. That's the pace of Another World, every screen poses a threat, each and every move could be your last.

The land that time forgot
Lester is soon captured and imprisoned by one of the local alien tribes. The game begins in earnest as a rival tribe of aliens mount an attack. Amid the chaos and carnage you have to find a way to get Lester out of the prison and then out of danger. From here on in every screen sets a dexterity test or mental puzzle for you to beat. Wall have to be broke open, chasms must be jumped, gunfights survived and friendships formed if Lester is to live.

Another World is not restricted to one style of play. First and foremost in the game's hierarchy comes dexterity tests. The polygon sprite moves slowly but precisely, and to make the most of the character's limited moves (jump, walk, run, crouch and two kicks) a whole range of different pitfalls are used.
Kicking the poisonous leeches to death requires a tight bout of crouching. Jumps to catch vines must be timed perfectly if you are to avoid the hungry lion, while properly placed footing is essential if you want to clear the chasms Lester comes across.

On the brainwork side, it doesn't make massive demands, just that you pay attention. It offers clues and training early on, with both the kit and the character. Later, though you're on your own. Only time and much experimentation will tell if you needed to waste a laser blast on that wall or whether your weapon's energy has been sapped by a red herring.

When these two factors combine, testing both joystick skill and game logic, then Another World is at its best. You've assessed the problem, worked out the solution, now it's case of putting the theory into pixel perfect practice.

It is the kind of game you want to show your Gran, because it has such a cinematic feel to it.

The illustrated man
Arcade adventures that test these skills are not new, but ones which look this good are rare. The stunning presentation and unique graphic style grabs you the moment the first picture hits the screen, and then continues to amaze even when you thought the 'wow' factor could wow no more. The graphics are simply superb.

For Another World Delphine have used the same system as Cruise for a Corpse, only this time the characters really do come to life! There are no sprites, just flat polygons, and if anything, this radical approach provides a more realistic effect that any sprite system could hope. What other joystick game offers yo four different views of the action: normal, cinemascope, vertical or high res?

Lester himself moves with the assurance and style of Prince of Persia. The polygon Lester doesn't have much detail to define him, but strangely this enhances the realism. His arms swing and he swaggers as he walks. Lester is a convincing hero. The enemies and monsters are not stereotypes either. There has been as much attention to motion lavished on them as the main star.
Even background characters, who play no part in the game, turn and look when a fight breaks out. The result is animations that look real, are occasionally funny, but frequently awe inspiring.

These graphics would stand proud in a silent world, but Delphine's disk efficient system frees up enough space for some serious music and samples. The lion's roar really sounds like he'd appreciate a meal! The laser beams whine in true Star Wars fashion. The aliens talk in Blade Runneresque 'city speak' and explosions have a futuristically percussive feel. Combined with sparse but eerie music, this takes Another World into the realms of the truly atmospheric.

The effects don't stop here though. At the beginning of each new loard, or change of perspective, control is surrendered to cinematic story sequences. These add to the game's mystery and magic, underlining its cinematic feel. Delphine have spent two years developing the graphic system and it looks like it's been worth every second.

The pit and the pendulum
Delphine's polygon system has the potential to produce a stunning game. Another World almost makes it, but just falls short. The problem is the gameplay. At times it exhibits some exquisite timing-tests, while in others the only clue you get is death! And it is here it falters.

Lester, as the wild card in Another World, often triggers whole sequences of events: Indiana Jones or Die Hard style. While fleeing prison Lester has to flood a cave, while he is in it. Naturally this forces some rather nifty exit work on his behalf, leaping spike filled gaps as the subterranean tidal wave chases him down. You know the right moves, but the tight timing ups the stakes and the pressure. Can you do it? There's only one way to find out! This is Another World at its best.

At its worst Another World has distinct Space Ace/Dragon's Lair overtones - great graphics but what was that you said about gameplay? There are instances, where only dying reveals a fatal trap. There's no clue, no chance to escape, just certain doom. Another World is structured fairly and offers a reasonable smattering of restart points, but when you have to visit them through no fault of your own, it is irritating as hell.

Players deserve warnings, a chance to prevent disaster, not be lured inexorably to their doom.
Another World's perils range from the glorious to the pathetic. The timing and dexterity tests are supremely exciting moments, accompanied as they are by massively impressive effects. The unavoidable deaths are as unimpressive as they are annoying, ruining a game that deserves to be a classic.

When worlds collide
It does prove that Delphine have more to their game design arsenal than a few sly questions and a neat graphics system. This is a major league game - in places. The effects that run through the entire program are individual, bravely defiant of the sprite-based norm. The sounds that surround Another World add depth to the atmospheric power that the strange piccies provide. The animation is observant and convincing adding that 'real feel' to play.

The good work though is almost ruined by overly fatal elements which are unavoidable if you want to find out what happens at the end. And you want to see the end of the game, desperately! That's the problem, it's a game that you madly want to be free of the irritating gameplay problems it stubbornly poses. Yet, time and time again it slays you with no chance or choice, then dumps you back further than you wanted to go.

Another World is a major achievement. It brings Delphine to the fore as major developers in another field of design, it's the kind of game you want to show your Gran (because it has such a cinematic feel even she'd understand it) and it's the kind of game you really want to discover for yourself. The approach and results are unique.

For all its glory Another World is still a game first, and it is here that it is sometimes found wanting. For the most part it excels, but it fails in a few key gameplay areas. It is worth buying, just for the power of the effects and the sweetness of its finer game moments. Be warned though, there are times when you'll really begin to hate the French.

Dragon's Lair set the world alight with its graphics and then bored it rigid with appalling gameplay. Amiga games have traditionally been good lookers or good players, rarely both. Now the machine's full potential is finally being realised, the two are coming together. Be wary of good lookers, and try to find playable demos so that you can find out if they're just rolling animations or real games.

Another World logo Amiga Joker Hit

War Action im Hause Delphine Soft bisher ein Fremdwort - ab sofort gehören gemächliche Knobel-Kreuzfahrten à la "Cruise for a Corpse" einer anderen Welt an. Die ganz andere Welt nämlich verlangt nach Joystickakrobaten!

Die französische Company unter U.S. Golds Fittichen war von jeher experimentierfreudig, nach drei Cinematique-Adventures strebt man nun nach neuen Ufern. Diese schwebten wohl auch Professor Chaykin vor, als er sich an seinen Antimaterie-Versuch wagte. Pech gehabt: Irgendwo war eine Schraube locker, weshalb sich unser Held nun unversehens in einer wüsten Parallelwelt wiederfindet! Hier treibt allerlei gräuliches Getier sein Unwesen, und die Einheimischen sind auch nicht unbedingt freundliche Zeitgenossen. Alsbald wird der junge Wissenschaftler überwältigt und gefangengenommen...

Es steht also Survival-training in einer labyrinthischen Alien-Stadt an, wozu der verhinderte Nobelpreisträger nach links oder rechts am Screen gehen bzw. renn, Treppen erklimmen sowie springen und schießen kann. Die überaus mysteriöse Umgebung ist dabei stets in der Seitenansicht zu sehen, anstatt zu scrollen, wird allerdings Schirm für Schirm umgeschaltet. Zu tun gibt's hier reichlich: Fast überall sind aufgaben zu lösen, etwa einen Helfer auftreiben, Fallen umgehen, Waffen finden, Transportmittel verwenden und vieles mehr. Blinde Ballerei führt jedoch nur selten zum Ziel.

Für Chaykins Dimensionsabenteuer hat Eric Chahi, ehemals Co-Designer von "Future Wars", eine völlig neue Animationstechnik entwickelt, bei der sich die Polygon-Charaktere so realistisch bewegen, daß nicht vorgewarnten Zuschauern glatt die Fußnägel hochklappen! Allein schon das wahnwitzige Intro ist eine Sensation, das eigentliche Spiel setzt sogar noch einen drauf: Düstere, schwarz-bläuliche Farben zaubern eine schaurig-schöne Atmosphäre, die ab und zu durch film-ähnliche Zusatz-Sequenzen und irre "Nahaunahmen" verstärkt wird. So fällt es tatsächlich kaum auf, daß einige Screens doch nicht gar sooo einfallsreich gestylt sind.

Auffälliger ist da schon die Steuerung, denn auf so manchen Stickbefehl (z.B. weite Sprünge) reagiert Herr Chaykin ein wenig unwillig und zögerlich. Man kann sich jedoch daran gewöhnen, und abgesehen vom nicht abschaltbaren Intro läßt die Handhabung ja ansonsten kaum zu wünschen übrig - beispielsweise sorgt eine Code-System dafür, nicht nach jedem Todesfall wieder ganz von vorne anfangen zu müssen. Titelmelodie und Schlußmusik passen wiederum nahtlos in das düster-tragische Sznenario, genau wie die stimmungsvollen FX.

Mit den vorangegangenen Delphine-Adventures hat die andere Welt somit nicht viel gemeinsam, was aber keineswegs heißen soll, daß man hier das Hirn abschalten darf. Im Gegentum: Another World ist ein ebenso sehens - wie spielenswertes Stück Software, das Tüftel- und Actionelemente sehr geschickt vereint! (jn)

Another World logo

Delphine, the premier French developers, have applied their cinematic style to the platform genre, and heaven help us, it works! A new generation starts here...

The French have long been the butt of computer game jokes, what with their bizarre puzzle games, garish colour schemes, and appallingly translated manuals. But our friends across the Channel need worry no longer. If Delphine's Cruise For A Corpse didn't set the record straight, then Another World certainly will.

Another World is an arcade-based adventure game, but it's one with ideas far above its station. The programmer has sought to offer a playable movie - or cartoon, if you're being pedantic - and the result, if not quite up to the (overly) ambitious grand design, is certainly a leap in the right direction. We can only hope that many of the ideas spawned in Another World will inspire other programmers to take further steps toward combining real arcade playability with cinema-Like direction and dynamics.

I guess what Another World really offers is what Cinemaware were claiming to have all those years ago when Defender Of The Crown first appeared - a fully interactive movie. Now, I'm not naive enough to expect anything other than a pretty linear plot line here (even the mighty Monkey Island is surprisingly free of real player freedom - there's freedom of movement, but plot advancement requires things to be done a certain way), but that aside, this works very well as a piece of interactive storytelling.

What Another World lacks in player freedom it more than makes up for in sass, class and sheer vision. There's not another game I can think of which shows anything like comparable attention to detail. You get the impression that everything has been fully thought through, and sadly that's quite a rare thing.

So how does it all actually work? Well, although the finished result comes across as very much its own game, it's easy to see where programmer Eric Chahi took his influences. The platform-ish running, jumping and combat-elements can be traced to Prince Of Persia, or even as far back as Impossible Mission, while even the distinctive visual look (majoring on the remarkable animation and range of moves available to the main character) is similarly echoed in Persia.

The thing is, Another World doesn't stop there. Added to the stew are graphics routines and pieces of finery which mirror those used in Cruise For A Corpse. Nowhere is this stronger than the lengthy intro sequence (those typically stylish French graphics: the way the hero walks right into, and then straight from, the 'camera'). It's all strangely reminiscent of modern Japanese cartoons (Battle Of the Planets, Akira, whatever the latest one is). This isn't top quality animation by their standards, but for the Amiga to pull off anything remotely similar is quite a feat.

But where Another World really gets interesting is when these little graphic interludes are dropped into the main game. Walk to a window, and the scene cuts to a spectacular view of the alien planet. Pick up a pistol from the floor, and the view cuts to a glorious close-up of the gun, which our hero then reaches toward and picks up right before the player's eyes. These are things which, although in many ways entirely irrelevant to the workings of the game, help make it something very special indeed.

Imagine what sort of things might happen if the software designers picked up on the idea... What if, for instance, Psygnosis made sequences of a similar quality to their famous pre-game intros an integral part of the game design? (Okay, so in many cases it's probably going to take a medium such as CD to hold the amount of data required, but the potential is quite literally astounding...)

A brave experiment... the game points the way forward

But back to the game in hand... and what a game it is. From the off, Another World really does try to live up to its title, providing a vision of an unknown planet looking pretty (but unsettling) from the word go. Having even transported to this strange netherworld through some million-to-one side effect of a doomed nuclear experiment, our hero materialises in a bottomless lake, pretty to lethal tentacles that rise up from the deep. From here his fortunes go from bad to worse, as flesh-eating mammals and poisonous slug things hinder progress, and a very nasty (and very, very armed) bunch of aliens attempt to imprison, beat and/or kill our hero.

The action is achieved using a fairly formulaic platform-based exploration romp as the basis for things, but with the addition of a number of graphical set-pieces that make the urge to see what's around the next corner all-consuming.

Squish all the slug creatures near the start of the game, for instance, and the player is faced with a huge lion-like creature. Run from this, and leap for a vine, and the vine breaks. Land back on the ground and run from the lion creature and two aliens appear, saving your from its jaws. Safety, you think. Or maybe not - the aliens shoot you, and you regain consciousness only to find yourself trapped in a cage with another creature. And so it goes on. The events, plot twists and logical progression of everything could almost form the storyboard for an action film, and how many games it is possible to say that about?

Of course, all this detail and ambition is going to create problems, and there are two real downsides to the whole thing. The first is the game size. Due to the complexity of the action and detail of the locations there just isn't that much of it. Couple that with the very controlled route you're forced to take through the game, and you start to think Another World doesn't actually give you all that much game for your money. It's fun while it lasts, sure, but you're going to get a lot more playing time from a whole range of rivals.

But there are so may plus points. The intuitiveness of the controls is quite remarkable, to the point where it's harder to explain how to perform a manoeuvre than it is to simply do it. Any game which sees the player get punched to the floor (his gun skidding out across the room as he falls) then picked up by a huge alien (all animated brilliantly, with appropriately sickening smacking noises) is to be applauded.
And when that game then lets the player kick the monster where it hurts, drop to the floor, run across the room, roll to the ground grabbing the gun as he rolls, turn and shoot the alien in its tracks - without having to consciously remember how to do any of it - and well, it instantly becomes a contender for game of the year.

And yet, Another World is something of a frustrating experience. On one hand the irritatingly death-happy controls (I'm just glad there's a password system to save trudging right through the entire game again) and limited game design are real downers, but on the other there's the sheer scope and ambition of the whole thing to think of. To take part in something so visually exciting is too precious to let some unfortunate mistakes spoil. It's a brave experiment, and while not entirely successful, it's close enough to provide an almost unbearable tease about the sort of thing we can expect to see in the future. This game points the way forward, and we can't ask to much more than that.

Another World logo CU Amiga Screenstar

Delphine have made a radical departure from their normal graphic 'n' text adventures to produce one of the most original looking games in years. Another World begins with a fabulously atmospheric animated intro, utilising different camera angles and recounting the background events of the game.
A young scientist, Lester Chaykin, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Galleon from Planet of the Apes, is experimenting with sub-atomic particles late one night when the particle propulsion tunnel is hit by a freak bolt of lightning. The pulse travels back along the circuit control panel sending the unfortunate researcher into another dimension. It's just like a scene from Back To The Future!.

The game proper starts with the scientist materialising underwater with the control panel sinking beneath him. Lester scrambles free and you begin to take control of his actions and guide him to the surface of another world. Gasping and wheezing for breath, he clambers out of the pool and notices a large beast bounding along on the horizon.

Although unarmed, it doesn't mean you can't protect yourself. Pulling down on the joystick and pressing the fire button performs a very useful sweeping kick, whilst from the standing position, a small toe punt can send the creepiest of crawlies scampering for safety. You have to get aggressive very early on in the game as it's not long before the environment starts to get downright hostile.

The backgrounds are sparse, to say the least, but they're incredibly weird and alien. Distant lights and small animals can be spotted along the way, and various weeds and vegetation sway in the breeze, adding to the alien-like atmosphere. Don't hang around though; if you need to get out of a tight spot quickly, Lester's lethargic saunter can be stepped up several gears, turning him into a veritable Linford Christie.

All six levels are linked by animations. Don't worry if you've been put off by the polygon graphics you've seen in screen shots in fact, they're a refreshing and essential to the game's addictiveness. What's more they can be viewed in four different modes: standard, 'cinemascope'/high resolution, vertical (a somewhat scrunched-up and elongated view), and high resolution/normal.
Granted they're not terribly useful, but they do serve to add value if you want to replay the game.

Chaykin soon realises that some sort of weapon would be handy and conveniently finds a discarded gun. The rock monsters that patrol the realm are also armed with the same curious weapon. A single pull on the trigger sends out a lone laser blast, but briefly holding the fire button down produces a plasma ball and protective shield. Holding it down for even longer produces a huge pulse of power to bore through mountainsides and open up whole new vistas of exploration.

Not all the aliens you meet are the blood-thirsty slave-mongering type and in a novel twist early on in the game Chaykin is coupled with a rather large companion. The rebel rock beast follows the scientist everywhere and, if you're not careful, he can easily be left behind and unable to perform his useful services of opening locks and pointing you in the right direction.

Another World comes on only two disks and most games players will sail through the first three levels. The ease of play, coupled with a code system that allows re-entry from your last exit, make the whole thing a very short-lived, if rewarding experience. It's a pity that there's not one more disk - but few games hold your attention long enough to warrant constant replaying.
Another World does and is one purchase that's truly worth making.

DON'T BUG ME Floors and ceilings can be infested with deadly slugs. If you come within an inch of them they'll stand up on end and click out a poisonous fang. Cop a bite and you'll slump to the ground as dead as a rabbit caught in a headlight's glare! This is where the foot sweep comes in. If you don't squish all the bugs now you'll be very sorry on the way back.
COMIC BOOK Another World took two years to produce and initially was developed solely for the Amiga. Its style and look has inevitably led to comparisons with film - but with its varied gameplay, which incorporates puzzles as well as arcade action, the whole experience resembles an animated comic book adventure. Let's hope we see more products like this!

Another World logo Zero Hero

Another World from Delphine/US Gold is set, as the title suggests, in another world. So who better to review it than Duncan MacDonald - after all, he's from another planet too.

Another World - what a corker it is. You've seen a little bit of it for yourselves already, seeing as we gave away a playable demo of the first level on the cover of the last ish. Unless you're a new reader of course, in which case you haven't seen it at all. Bah! New readers, eh? What trouble your cause. What are we to do? Oh dear, and what about you ST owners who didn't get the demo either...

Let's sort you out into three groups. Those of you who own PCs and Amigas, bought last month's ZERO and have played the interactive demo, so we'll call you Group A. You can stand on the right. Those of you who didn't buy last month's ZERO and haven't played the demo we'll call Group B. You can stand on the left. You ST owners are Group C. You can stand on the left, too.

Okay, let's get group B and C over and done with together. Step forwards, would you please? All of you, all of you, yes - that includes you stragglers at the back. Over her. Come on, stop shuffling. Form an orderly queue at the front - speed it up. No talking at the back. Silence please. Are you ready? Here goes, then...

In Another World you control a character called Lester Knight Chaykin. Lester's a young nuclear scientist who, during the lengthy and absolutely stunning opening animated sequence, cocks up a bit. He makes the mistake of conducting his hi-tech experimental work during a thunderstorm. So guess what hits his laboratory at exactly the wrong moment? Just when loads of X-particles and mesons are being smashed together?
Yup - a bolt of lightning, of course. Poor old Lester gets zapped through multi-dimensional space, and finds himself in 'another world'. You (as Lester) don't know whether you're coming or going. You have to work it out for yourself.

Okay, now Groups B and C can skip off to the back and let Group A through to the front. Quick march, Group A - assemble here. In a straight line please. Thank you. You've seen the wondrous graphics, heard the splendid sounds and been drenched in the unearthly atmosphere of Another World (Scene One). Great, wasn't it. Did you complete within a few minutes? If so, then well done. If it took you absolutely ages, then not so well done. Be warned - things actually get quite a bit harder as you progress.

So who's left? Oh, you're not one of those sorry people who actually failed to complete the piffling five screens of the demo are you? You useless clothbrain. Gather together with the other dorks and we'll call you Group D. Here's what you should have done...
(1) Clambered out of the water and walked right (before the plant grabbed you).
(2) Made sure the wibbly black things didn't fall on your head.
(3) Killed the wibbly black things on the floor (without killing the 'slightly different' wibbly black thing which was also on the floor).
(4) Repeated step three and then continued right.
(5) Run away from the giant bear thing.
(6) Kept on Running.
(7) Gasped with relief as the giant bear thing fell over.
(8) Jumped over the gap, grabbed hold of the vine and swung back past the confused giant bear thing.
(9) Hoofed it back the way you came.
(10) Laughed as the alien geezer appeared and shot the bear thing (who was in pursuit again).
(11) Cried as the alien geezer shot you.

And that was the end of the first level. Now you know how you should have done it and why you couldn't. Another World isn't just a shoot 'em up, as you obviously found out - it's an arcade adventure.
You need to do things in the right order and in the right way. You need to own a brain. You, as a member of Group D, obviously haven't got a brain. Group A is well rid of you.

It's time for Groups B and C to move to the front and mingle with Groups A and D again. That's it - in you come. Make way for them, everybody. That's it. Settle down now, because it's time for the Another World exam. It's a multiple choice quiz in which you have to work out 'what to do next'. Group A will probably excel. Groups B and C might have to think a bit. Oh, and Group D may want to look at the answers first - they're at the bottom of the page in Janet and John 'not-joined-up' writing.

After having been shot at the end of scene one. Lester awakes to find himself hanging over a pit in a cage. He's not alone, though - there's an alien geezer sitting next to him. Should Lester... (A) Slap his forehead and say: "What's all this then! How's your father! Apples and Pairs! Trouble and strife! Whistle and flute!"
(B) Introduce himself: "Hello, my name is Lester. I am human. I come from a distant dimension, but I mean you no harm. In fact we seem to bein the same predicament. If you help me escape from this cage, I will teach you how to make things out of wood. It's true. I can teach you all the wonders of what we earthlings call 'carpentry'. You need never buy a chair or cupboard again..."
(C) Go back to sleep.
(D) Rock the cage backwards and forwards in the hope that it will fall to the ground, knocking out the guard who's pacing back and forth.

Well, surprise, surprise. The guard's been knocked out by the falling cage and Lester and the alien are free. The alien runs off to the right. Does Lester...
(A) Run to the left, jump down the very pit and shout: "Jigger me! Whistle and flute! Barnet fair! Trouble and strife! Apples and pairs! I'm alright, guv'nor!"
(B) Slap the unconscious guard repeatedly round the face, saying "Wake up, wake up, the other prisoner is trying to escape. He was responsible for the cage falling on your head - I tried to stop him but he knocked me out too. I'm on your side. I can teach you how to turn base metals into gold - it takes about 18 years and I need to be living in a very comfortable room with lots of chicks while I'm doing it..."
(C) Go back to sleep.
(D) Discover a gun on the ground, pick it up and then run to the right.

Lester notices an alien charging directly at him. The question is whether it's the alien he was in the cage with, or yet another guard. So does Lester...
(A) Shout: "Apples and pairs! My old man's a dustman!"
(B) Say "Look, if you're the alien I was in the cage with a minute ago, then don't think I was grassing you up to that guard back there. If, however, you are a guard, then I really can turn base metals into gold. And I really am on your side - not the other prisoner's. You'll be rich beyond your wildest dreams..."
(C) Go back to sleep.
(D)Let the alien run past - he is the one who was in the cage. But be warned - a guard is in hot pursuit. (Hint: gun).

Amiga reviewDunc: If you've read absolutely everything before this, you'll know whether you belong to group A, B, C or D. If you haven't read absolutely everything before this, you won't - so I'll be able to sub-divide you even further and plonk you into what I'll call Group E. This review is split into four parts. One bit for Group A, one bit for Groups B and C and so on. You must know which group you belong to or things will become confusing. Be sure about your group before reading on.

Group E: You've jumped straight in and haven't taken the Another World test. This queue-barging simply isn't on and will do you no good. GO back to the very beginning and read everything - you'll find you're no longer in Group E. (Group E, by its very nature, is a temporary group.)

Group D: You're a bit crap really, aren't you, Group D? There's one thing that can be said about members of your 'tribe', and it's that you all failed to complete the Another World demo. Pathetic, really. There were only about 10 things you needed to do, but you obviously fluffed one or more of them up. If you thought the presentation of the game was fantastic and want to see more, you should ask yourself this simple question: "Will I actually get to see any more?" And the answer is NO. Level one was the easiest part and you didn't even manage to see all of that. The chances of getting further are slim, to say the least. It's sad. Very, very sad.

Groups B and C: You haven't seen this game move, have you. Well, it's all done in vectors rather than bitmaps and as a result it's, er... let's say it's different. It's a bit hard to explain, really. Imagine the Prince Of Persia sprite enlarged a couple of times and rendered in triangles and things. That sounds crap I know, but if you look at the static pics and imagine them moving in a real-to-life fashion you'll be there. Mind you, I say real-to-life, but when Lester breaks into a run it's more a case of ponce o-motion - he skips along as if he's got at least 18 daffodils rammed up his bottom.

Don't worry too much about this though, because for the main part the motion is superb - Lester, the alien, the guards, the nasties, the lot.
So what about the sound? Well, it accompanies the evocative graphics perfectly. An alien wind wails in the background on the planet's surface. As you descend into the caverns, the hollow booming sound of distant mining machinery rises up. It all serves to make you feel helpless - which, of course, being in Groups B and C, you are.

Group A: Thank God for Group A. You know what Another World is all about already. But what's it later on? More of the same but different. Lots of changes in scenery, lots of problems much harder than those in the demo and lots of 'coo, look at that' noises from the impressed people you'll no doubt be showing it to when you've mastered it.

Basically, this is not totally unlike a Don Bluth game. Okay, so Don Bluth games aren't even proper games, just demos with a joystick wiggle between each scene, but there is a very small element of this in Another World. The gameplay isn't quite 'linear' enough. You're not free to 'do what you want as long as you want'. There's an element of exploration but a lot of the game is learnt in little chunks which you're forced to repeat over and over again, till you get them exactly right.

Still, I'm being snotty, whingeing about a game which is really rather special. I'm going to have to put myself in a brand new group - Group F.

Group F: I'm a git and I ought to keep my mouth shut. Another World is brill.Stop


Mostly A's: You're obviously a bogus cockney with an extremely unimpressive grasp of rhyming slang. You may even be Eddie from Neighbours. You won't get far in this game, me old china.

Mostly B's: You're a bit like the fat bloke from Land Of The Giants. You're despicable, untrustworthy, generally odious, will go any lengths to save your own skin and have never appeared in anything else apart from one crap TV movie called The Medicine Man. (Oh, and you won't get very far in this game).

Mostly C's: You're very lazy. You won't get very far in this game. Go back to sleep.

Mostly D's: You're a winner. A star. The bees knees. You 'know what you want' and you 'know where to get it'. Another World should be a piece of cake for someone of your calibre. (Mind you, it wasn't exactly a difficult test).