Who'd be a struggling artist, eh? Well, for a start, you're struggling - and nobody wants to be that. Secondly, you're an artist - which means that the loathsome, non-creative garbage who make up the majority of the uncultured rabble don't understand your work. You're making these broad, dazzingly original statements on the passionless, but multi-
Which leads us neatly to the game. Somewhere in the dark, universally misunderstood realms of the programmer's mind, there must have been a point to all of this. He must, at some time, have been visited by a kind of inspirational angel, who informed him that he was destined to write a computer game based upon the exploits of a struggling artist. Foolishly, he bowed to the angel's will... and Fatal Strokes was born.
"For weeks", informs the manual, "I had suffered an overwhelming sense of depression that was like a dark, enveloping cloud of despair." Yeah, right. A dark cloud of despair not dissimilar to the one which will soon envelope those Amiga owners who stupidly waste £25.99 on this deeply tedious game.
Edwin Saxx, struggling artist, wanders into an art materials shop and is given a set of 'Special' paints by a mystical and strangely familiar, wisened old man. He paints three masterpieces in just a few hours and collapses from exhaustion. Then he wakes to find that he's been curiously transported into the domain of the paintings, and an evil sorcerer rules over all three of the picture worlds. He must collect the magic orbs, because they will restore the light to the universe, and banish the darkness into the eternal... oh, God. No, I'm sorry. I can't go on.
It really is rather naff. A fairly promising story rapidly descends into the old 'collect the sacred orbs and vanquish the evil one' wibble. Didn't this sort of thing go out with the Spectrum? Oh well, maybe the startlingly original and compelling gameplay will make up for the lack of plot interest. Here goes...
Nope. I'm afraid this really is garbage. The gameplay - using the term loosely - takes the form of a mind-
This is, quite honestly, the kind of game that Spectrum owners would have gladly paid £9.99 for in 1985. Just. None of the ill-conceived sub-games, or half-
It's a fatality
Look - I tried. I really did try. Honest. I played it solidly for a whole evening - with the benefit of an energy bar cheat and all the sub-game codes. I picked up all the power-ups, tried the turps gun, attempted to make sens of the map screens and defeated end-of-
It's a shame, though, because ICE seem to be a reasonably capable software house, with their previous release Fireforce, and their up-and-