This is a game with a lot of things to offer. It has one heck of a soundtrack, bedazzling graphics and a plot which comes straight out of the primordial soup.
Pure evil has impregnated the twelve constellations through the portals of doom. Naturally, its seed is of a particularly, unwhole-
From here on the game is one of those cover-the-
But tackling fiendish fungus is only one of your tasks. There are the Guardians, such as the Devil or the Hand, with which to contend - and don't waste your bullets on these at night time, they won't work. Twice a day the central face opens revealing a Tarot card and a crystal bringing good or bad luck. You have to learn to read the cards and nab the crystals, if benevolent, before the Devil's worm does.
The screens look as if someone mashed up a million packets of Opal Fruits and done a Jackson Pollack with them. The colours seem so gushing and lurid that at first they distract you. But once you begin to pick out the spores, you can get well stuck in. Visually, in fact, the game is a treat and there are many nice touches. For example when you die, Pandemonium's symbol, the moon, breaks into replicas, like a million mad smileys on a bad acieed trip, and then the screen is filled with blood.
The same sort of care and attention has been devoted to the soundtrack. Each format will have its own theme and the Amiga's, scored by Richard Joseph, is a suitably Gothic spooky number with some nice, sampled backward speech on it.
And the down side? Despite giving you three game options ("strategy"-based game, arcade or mixed) Wicked does not have the type of gameplay which will make it a perennial fave; it simply doesn't have the depth. But it's certainly original, fast and visually and aurally addictive. And if you just fancy spending an hour or two as a righteous ball of flame, remember that this little number's in your softshop.