Erik logo

Atlantis * £7.99

You're a little knight. You've had your worst knightmares confirmed; yes, you're inside a computer game. And, horror of horrors, it's a platform game. Time to escape, you might think. And you wouldn't be wrong. That'll do for plot, as it's completely and utterly wrong, but the real one isn't much better. Erik is simply a platform game. You must fire crossbow bolts (or something like them) at the bubbles which get in your way, as well as leaping from platform to, erm... what was it? Never mind. It's a pretty cute game, marred only by the rather distant feel of the character.

This is quite important because the chap must be positioned perfectly for many of the jumps. It's one of those annoying pixel-perfect jobs, and when you get it slightly wrong you will curse and howl like Peter Cushing in that film on telly the other day. The sound effects are good, though. So good that you turn the volume up. Then you turn it back down again because you're getting annoyed with not being allowed even the smallest leeway when hurling yourself around the level.

Buy Erik if you're a smartass and reckon all platform games are dead easy.

Erik logo

Can you imagine a cross between Rainbow Islands and Rick Dangerous? Would you want to? Would it be a good idea in the first place? Well, I don't know about the first two, but if the result would be a game like Erik, then the answer to the third question would have to be a 'Yes'.

It's a funny little platform game, this Erik (up all night thinking of that title, were we boys?). You get 28 levels (in four worlds) of fairly small vertically-scrolling caverns, the object in each of which is to collect the key to the locked door leading to the next stage.

You get baddies to blast, treasure to collect, and money to pick up and spend on sexier weapons to blast the baddies with, as well as secret rooms and big end-of-level bosses and all the other trappings of these new-fangled modern arcade platformer things. There's nothing very remarkable on show, just a load of old features glued together in a charmingly cohesive way to turn up something a bit different, but it's all so deeply enjoyable to ply that that's more than enough.

Recognisable enough to be familiar, original enough to be interesting, this has to be a bit of a hit.

Erik logo

F1 Licenceware

Some people have too much free time. Did you see that Morton Strikes Back game we reviewed on budget last issue? Good, wasn't it? Well, the same chap (programming legend in his own mirror), Dave Parson, has given us another platform pleaser, Erik. Much like Morton Erik is a basic, platform game with a simple aim and nice and easy playability.

Jump from platform to platform on the vertically-scrolling levels, kill the bad things with your laser gun, and pick up the diamonds which will turn into cash and let you buy things in the shop./p>

It's slightly, ahem, 'inspired' by Rainbow Islands, but different. It's also full of hidden bits and there are lots of traps and things to avoid making it interesting and rewarding but also hard.

A very professional game, and definitely worth a look if you like platform games and can't get enough of 'em. Like me.