DRAGON SPIRIT - the very name conjures up a cheap Chinese hellbrew, the kind of electric soup which is bought with multiples of "the price of a cup of tea". Nothing could be further from the truth.
It's about Dragons, and we're not talking about the only computer in the world with a processor so slow that you can hear every tick. No, we're talking napalm breath here.
The first thing you notice about Dragon Spirit is that it's in the standard Tengen Atrocious Plastic Box, the one that kills all known instructions dead. The second thing you notice is that the loader makes the drive sound like an elephant after a night on the beans.
Disc protection is a necessary evil, but when it tries to bend Amy's drive in the noisiest way possible, the evil surely is unnecessary.
Basically, some dumb princess has got kidnapped by some lowlife, and it's Nerdbrain's job to do the fetching. The local quack has you that you're a dragon. "Here," he says. "Eat these dubious mushrooms. Incidentally you're a dragon now".
So off you fly to kick some heads. Well, give them a thorough singeing at least. And while the subject of heads is still within its sell-by-
As you flap your dismal way along the narrow river valley - made all the narrower by the programmers - you realise that it's YABS - Yet Another Boring Scroller.
Where a scroll would be described as smooth on the other thing, in Amiga terms this one is found wanting in the rapidity department. It's way too slow. And it gets even slower as more things appear.
Everything that could cause a young dragon harm wobbles in a most alarming way, and indeed this is the only reliable method of determining hostile intent.
The automatic rapid fire is useful, considering the game would be impossible without it. Unfortunately it sounds exactly like a very slow marine diesel engine and soon begins to grate.
Later moments of the game include exploding phoenixes and the brilliant ruse of recolouring alligators used in the first level to look like fire salamanders.
In playability trials between Dragon Spirit and a dead crab, 9 out of 10 game players preferred the latter. The two clear advantages of dead crabs are that they're edible and they don't try to dismember the disc drive.