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Ubi Soft Ltd
Arcade: Maze
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Garth Sumpter
Chris Bourne

Zut alors! Que-est-ce que? C'est Puffy's Saga from Ubisoft and it looks to all intents like a Gauntlet a la Francais. Problem is though, it doesn't play like one and the incredibly difficult gameplay makes it nearly impossible to want to play the game for more than half an hour.

And what do you have to do with the time that you have during the game? Well, it's all a bit sketchy but let's be British about this and give it our best shot.

At the beginning of the game you choose either Puffy or Pufyn (who is the girly version of the two), and must then make your way along the Gauntlet like levels, avoiding various nasty monsters that range from Pac man lookalikes to ruddy great monsters that look as if they could eat a horse for breakfast and only leave the hooves. Puffy (or Pufyn), who both happen to look like Ribena blackcurrants, meander along the mazes and corridors firing at nasties as they home in on them. If an 'orrible petit monster catches our hero, then it will drain health points from them. Just like Gauntlet so far, so what's the problem then? Well I'm glad you asked that my petit bag of chicken giblets, 'cos the main problem with the game is that if even a single monster catches you then it's really difficult to shake them off. Whilst this may be an accurate simulation of your chances of releasing the grip of a homicidal maniac as he rips your throat open with his bare teeth, it never the less makes the game frustrating to the extreme and as I always want to be entertained by a game I find this just a little too hard to swallow (with or without an intact throat!)

Anyway, on with the game. Try as I might. I can't say anything about later levels because I found it all far too hard for even a seasoned (salt and French mustard), veteran like myself. But, as you pick your merry way along, there are oodles of goodies to pick up - Magic Gom's, Supershots, Levitation, Keys, Invisibility potions, Legs of (British?) meat which add to your health. Health? Oh yes! I said it was like Gauntlet, perhaps I should have said it was Gauntlet but had been written in French. Problem being, as with the game's sampled speech, it's lost so much in the translation as to be virtually unrecognisable and sounds as bad as it plays.

Label: Ubisoft
Author: In House
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

The game plays like a dead frog and no amount of resuscitation can breath any life back into it.