Kult logo Amiga Format Gold

INFOGRAMES £24.95 Mouse

Subtitled 'The Temple of Flying Saucers' this game has more than your average scenario. It has a whole world built around it: a world which ahs become divided since The Burn, a world in which Protozorqs and Normals share an uneasy coexistence and where PSI-mutant Normals, Tuners, are despised by everyone.

The Protozorqs are a primitive but powerful race. They worship hideous Gods who, they believe, will save them from the miserable lives of shame ad guilt. The Normals are weak and are subject to the discreet rule of a group of Tuners known as the Netwerk.

Recently, the Protozorqs have become blood-crazed. They believe their God, Zorq, is about to return and have set about destroying as many Normals as they can get their Zapsticks on. It's during one of these fights that you - a young Tuner called Raven - see your girlfriend, Sci Fi, taken by the Protozorqs to their temples.

This is where the icon-driven adventure cum puzzle game starts. You've become an Aspirant, a Normal who must undertake five tasks and receive a skull for completing each, in order to become a Divo, a messenger of Zorq. This status gives you access to the second level of the temple where you think Sci-Fi is being held.

Controlling your actions involves moving the cursor around the screen until it changes to red on an object or doorway indicating that you can interact with it. Click the mouse button and a representation of your brain appears with various thought nodes surrounding it.

Point to the nodes and decide which action you'd like to take. For example, click on something in your possession, say a goblet, and your thoughts will be: fill goblet, empty, put down, put in, throw, throw away, give or inspect. Select an option you think is best (put in, for example) and then move the mouse pointer to the area of the screen you think appropriate (perhaps that statue's open mouth?)

Suppose you decide to undertake the tasks - bursting out to the second level can prove tough because the place is swarming with Protozorq guards who are Zapstick happy - you'll soon find that you need an object to complete each one. The goblet is required to solve the room known as The Twins, and once solved you receive a skull which you can take to the Trader.

Give him the skull and you get a chance to change your object for another need, but only if you can beat him at a game of 'find the lady'. Fail and the problems start. How are you going to solve The Wall Room without the dagger? Simple, you can't. Your only hope is to find another Aspirant - there are several wandering around - and either trade items or mug him.

There is however, at least one room that can be solved without an object (you're a Tuner, remember, so you do have some special PSI powers you can call on from time to time) and you can come out of it with a skull and an object to trade, so don't despair.

Suppose you solve all five rooms, become a Divo and are allowed access to the second level, you'll find your problems only just beginning as you try to solve yet more, and not so obvious, puzzles in rooms and avoid ending up as a sacrifice to temporary god Delios.

A great plot, good gameplay, mean puzzles which can all be solved logically plus the simple but effective game structure and a massive game task all add up to make Kult a superb game.


Visually, Kult is typically French, with great graphics often presented in a comic-book fashion that adds heaps of atmosphere. The sound effects, of which there aren't too many, are also good. All round, it's good looking, good sounding and great to play. Let's hope Ere can keep producing games as good and as varied as their last three have been.

Kult logo

Price: £24.95

Dungeons and Dragons has always been defined as the definitive role playing game. It had to be expected that D&D would soon make its appearance on the home computer - and it did. The first computer RPGs were nothing more than text adventures. Then multi-player elements and character selection came to light. Now RPGs contain more bytes than any other computer game. Kult is no exception. It combines elements of role play with innovative arcade adventure-style gameplay. Sadly the software house feel they have to hide it all behind a mass of mind-numbing pseudo sci-fi scene setting in the instruction manual.

To cut a very tedious story exceedingly short, you play Raven, an estranged psi-mortal who has set off to a temple to rescue his buddies. The only way of doing that is by solving a series of tasks throughout the temple to attain the rank of Divo, then face the high Priestess. The tasks mainly involve taking something to somewhere, twisting a few levers, and collecting a skull. Sounds easy? First find the locations and avoid any traps, as well as aggressive guards.

Whoever designed the temple should be given a special award for managing to get so many colours in at once, without making it pukey. The movement around the temple could not be easier. A mouse-controlled cursor changes shape in accordance to the area of the screen it is in, helping you to decide your next action and making sure that you do not miss anything. The temple is circular with a series of rooms running from the epicentre. Each one forms a layer of the puzzle by setting a problem for you to overcome.

For example, one room contains a man with a rope around his neck. He can give you something useful but warns you not to approach - to ignore him is fatal. When another character (or more) is encountered an enlarged picture is pulled onto the screen, complete with speech bubbles. Be careful here, a slip of the tongue can prove fatal. It is also inadvisable to get into too many fights as it tends to alert the temple guards or any of the other of the rest of the characters, especially the Master of the Ordeals (the guy who sets your tasks). Existing Divos are also to be found wandering about, not that offensive, but then I do not recommend an attack either (try it and find out!).

Your PSI powers contribute greatly to the overall fun of the game. If you are losing a fight switch on the PSI extreme violence power and you instantly wipe the mat with the opposition. Other powers range from a magic light, though sticky fingers (which allows you to climb up walls), up to brain warp which mind numbs a person of your choice. All have one thing in common, they drain your energy fast. So do not overuse them.

Superb graphics and excellent sampled stereo sound help enhance Kult no end. What it does lack though is the particular atmosphere that needs to be generated by an RPG to give it that special something. On the positive Kult is a great, long lasting game, if just short of classic.

Alu huglu hutul

Kult logo Zzap! Sizzler

Exxos, Amiga £24.95

A global catastrophe, known as the 'Burn', has created a race of Tuners - people with psi powers who are utterly hated by Normals. To avoid annihilation the Tuners have set up a psi network to control the Normals.

Raven and his busty young girlfriend, Sci Fi, are young Tuners who one day stumble across a massacre of Normals. The alien Zorq, who's worshipped as a god, had returned to the Temple of the Flying Saucer(!) and instructed his followers to kill everyone nearby, except young men who are to be bought into the temple. His followers are called Protozorqs and the two young tuners are soon in bloody battle with a Protozorq unit. Raven ultimately defeats it, but Sci Fi is captured...

Your quest to find Sci Fi, and kill Zorq, begins with the Ordeals of Deilos. There are five skulls to be found and presented to the Changer in an hour of real-time. The skulls are concealed in five Ordeals - interlinked rooms containing puzzles of varying toughness. To help you a priest gives you one helpful object to start off with, and after that skulls can be used to get other helpful objects. There's also a way of breaking out of the Ordeal rooms to sneak into the Second Level, where the priestesses pray and bathe. Clearly, if you're to rescue Sci Fi there's much more to be done than simply following the Ordeal rules.

Thankfully gameplay matches the imagination of the scenario. You interact with the landscape via a cursor which changes shape according to what it touches. Crossed arrows indicate an exit, arrows in a circle suggest there's something to be examined. And a brain icon comes with nodes representing various actions such as 'grab object', 'attack' or 'kiss' - the options vary depending on the circumstance. You also have special psi powers such as Solar Eyes (see in the dark), Sticky Fingers (Spiderman mode) and Know Mind (read someone's mind). There are a lot more powers and options, all easy to understand and use - but few of the puzzles are simple.

Fortunately there's a sort of psychic 'help' psi power, with clues delivered distinctly garbled - 'Pay Shunts' means patience.

Phil King This is the weirdest game I've seen since Captain Blood, also by Exxos. They sure come up with some strange ideas - selecting options by pointing your brain is certainly original! The presentation is incredibly stylish with many humorous animated sequences and good sound effects to create a surreal atmosphere. The characters encountered talk hilarious gibberish (although it's easier to comprehend than Randy's accent!) and some of the females sound remarkably like a shrieking Hattie Jacques! This injection of humour lightens the otherwise serious business of solving the cryptic puzzles. These are challenging although never frustrating as you can always leave the present puzzle and try another. Although definitely not one for arcade freaks, Kult is highly original, thought-provoking entertainment.
Robin Hogg Wow, what a weird plot and if that wasn't surreal enough the wonderfully detailed graphics add even more to the superb atmosphere as do the creaking sound effects and simulated speech (and no, it isn't Welsh!). Some of the characters encountered are truly bizarre - ever tried making love to a spider woman? The puzzles themselves are very cryptic indeed but there is much more to the game with underground caverns to explore and your girlfriend to rescue while you avoid being chopped up on the sacrificial altar! The icon system is extremely easy to use and an extra tactical element is introduced in using the useful psi powers.
A brilliantly implemented science-fiction adventure with wide-ranging appeal.
Stuart Wynne While Purple Saturn Day was one of my favourite Amiga games, I found Captain Blood a touch irksome and was wary of another adventure-orientated Exxos release. I needn't have worried. The slick presentation mirrors gameplay, which is original and innovative. The Ordeals I've solved so far were logical but far from obvious, giving a real feeling of satisfaction once completed. Kult is a highly enjoyable and unique game which deserves to achieve much more than 'cult' success.