HUR, hur, Page 3 bird in leopard skins, nudge, nudge, and carrying a whip! Free poster! Slobber, slobber. It's smut factor time as a slightly famous Page 3 cutie struts her stuff all over a horizontally scrolling arcade lasher from Martech.
Doubtless Martech was hoping that Corinne Russell would do for Vixen what Maria Whittaker did for Palace and Barbarian. The trouble is that Barbarian was a good game.
Vixen's plot is grade A dross, waffling on about dinosaurs eating everyone up, the vixen being brought up by a family of foxes and being given the power to metamorphose, by the Fox Sages.
What you need to know is that you must guide, leaping, crawling and running, curvy Corinne through a prehistoric landscape, whipping away admirers and monsters alike.
Laying into the landscape, though superficially a pointless exercise, does reveal certain goodies, among them ones which endow Fox Time.
Every time you find and collect a fox head it slides along a wire at the top of the screen. The upshot of this is that if you finish the level and attain maximum Fox Time you get to frolic underground in the guise of a fox as a bonus.
Tortuously senseless stuff, but it does serve to show off the animation of the characters rather well. Both Vixen (the woman) and Vixen (the animal) are very well animated, but it's hardly film-like video digitised animation as the box would have you believe. Controlling either of them isn't quite right either, although it is easier than on all the other versions of this game.
So it goes... you run along, whip monsters, leap over chasms and watery pits, find things like the big gems for big bonuses and all while the sky slowly darkens. To say this game bears a resemblance to Elite's Thundercats is putting it mildly.
Although easy enough in the early stages around level four big spiky crawly things arrive on the scene, at which point it's time for Mega-Whip. If you haven't found the Cynthia Payne special, which kills everything with one blow, then you are in the primordial gunk.
Graphically Vixen is nothing to get excited about, as even our heroine has no facial features, but what is completely unacceptable is the horizontal scrolling. Anyone would think this was running on an ST.
Equal liberties have been taken on the sound front with the provision of some exciting Spectrum 128k music. It's monotonous and becomes boring after 30 seconds. The effects accompanying the action are just as bland, save for the whip which has a satisfying crack.
I'm afraid to say that Vixen is all hype and very dull gameplay, and completely unimpressive technically. The packaging claims a "game beyond imagination in a world beyond belief." Substitute "without" for "beyond" and you'll be closer to the truth.