Clutch Gable, the editor of Core Pictures' new film production is in big trouble. Editing into the early hours of the morning, he finds himself dozing further and further into slumberland, eventually sinking into a deep, deep sleep (a bit like most of the staff of Amiga Format, methinks).
Woken in the morning by a phone call from his irate boss, he discovers that his film reels are missing and that all his hard work has been filched by the company's nearest rivals, Grumbling Pictures. Naturally he is a little annoyed and, being a heroic sort of chap, he takes it upon himself to rescue them. And guess what? Yes, you take on the role of Clutch in his quest.
As it turns out, the six film reels have been strategically placed in six different film sets around the Grumbling studios. Each set has a different theme, from cowboy western to sci-fi adventure, and in order to root out the film Clutch must take on all manner of baddies who are out to prevent him finding it.
The nasties in the game are relevant to each set; for example in the western you have cowboys and indians, tumbleweed and circling vultures, while in the black-and-white setting you'll find mummies, moving hieroglyphics and slinky black cats. The music also fits the bill perfectly, with some natty tunes belting out of your Amiga monitor which really add to the atmosphere of the game.
Passing through one of the doors in each set will take you 'backstage', away from the film scenario and into a world of scaffolding, props and film cameras. Some of the nasties can be found here as well (rehearsing, I suppose) and they're just as deadly as their Equity card carrying colleagues. Help is at hand in the form of a variety of weapons which may be picked up along the way and can be used to vanquish any foe you come across. From the six-shooter of the westworld to the magic spells of fantasyland, they are always there in great abundance.
After each level a bonus game must be completed before the film reel can be retrieved. This takes the form of a short scene from a film which must be acted out by Clutch himself. For example, at the end of the black-and-white film level our hero must ride a truck along a railway line, collecting ammo and dodging various obstacles, while the sci-fi scene ends with a scrolling shoot-em-up. This all adds to the fun of the game, providing a much-needed break from the platform sections.
Not-so tiny 'Toons
And so goes the story of Premiere. Some may consider it to be 'just another platform game', but I reckon it's got enough style and imaginative content to blow most others of the genre out of the water. Each level requires thought to complete (as well as some nifty joystick action) because several puzzles must be solved before the route to the exit becomes apparent.
Instead of the usual sprites, here you have large cartoon-type characters that are very cute and nicely animated, and they are set against some superbly drawn backdrops. The control-system takes a bit of getting used to, but after a while you'll find yourself zooming Clutch about the screen with the greatest of ease.
So is it Amiga Format Gold quality? Well, it's close, but unfortunately it doesn't quite make it, mainly because the action is pretty similar on each level and so tends to get just a wee bit repetitive. The in-between levels break this up though, and all in all, Premiere is a hell of a game. It looks pretty, plays well and presents a great challenge to all platform freaks out there who are looking for something just that bit different.