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Chris Kerry
Arcade: Maze
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

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Bill Scolding
Chris Bourne

YOU HAVE the body of a bird but the brain of a human.

Well, none of us are perfect, and in Metabolis your feathered wimpness can nevertheless bring about the downfall of the evil macho Kremins by destroying their nuclear reactor.

Metabolis is a maze adventure with the usual dose of objects to collect and mutants to avoid. You control the Tweetypie character - a far cry from the fearsome fowl depicted on the cassette cover - in its quest to locate the four pieces of nuclear fuel necessary to blow up the reactor. Before you succeed in that, however, you must find the reversal serum which will transform you into a man.

Apples, fish, cake and other edibles must be consumed to prolong your life, and pills must be popped to prevent heart attacks. Other objects provide temporary defence against the maze's booby traps - picking up a 15 symbol, for instance, gets you past the boxing gloves, which otherwise send you hurtling backwards.

The slapstick cartoon humour is also evident when you get stomped on by the ton weights and hop around suffering from graphics compression.

The maze is large - 150 screens - and requires methodical mapping. Movement is fast and the Kremins plentiful. You can't zap them until you've chanced upon the magic boomerang, randomly hidden. Somewhere lurks a wizard, but I've yet to catch sight of him. And I still can't work out what the syringes are for.

Sufficiently addictive and tortuous, Metabolis isn't exactly going to set the software industry afire but it is considerably better than many others on the market. Good for a rainy summer's day.

Bill Scolding

Publisher: Gremlin Graphics
Price: £6.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair