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Chiller

Mastertronic (1984)

Synopsis

You hear the creature creeping up from behind as grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom. Ah ha ha ha ha ha haaaa!

The final nail in the coffin?


Graphics

Pros:

Comparatively crisp graphics. Ian Oglivy makes an appearance in scene one.


Cons:

They are still crude and visually unappealing.





Sound

Pros:

A good tune plays, nothing that detracts from the game.


Cons:

Sounds are unexceptional for the time.





Gameplay

Pros:

Five levels of mayhem that you then get to play in reverse order after.


Cons:

The perspective of the graveyard level is a little bit maddening.




Graphics

Pros:

Colourful and smooth.


Cons:

Wildly pervasive with the ugly kindergarten-style chunky sprites.





Sound

Pros:

A good tune for the Amstrad, again not overly distracting.


Cons:

As with the C64, sounds don't innovate in this game.





Gameplay

Pros:

Levels have fairly good difficulty.


Cons:

Doesn't feel as responsive as the C64 version.




Graphics

Pros:

Fairly smooth sprite action.


Cons:

Garish back-to-basics sprites. You wouldn't think you was controlling a human.





Sound

Pros:

Basic sound effects.


Cons:

You'll want to have the mute key on speed-dial.





Gameplay

Pros:

Probably the hardest gameplay of the lot.


Cons:

Much easier to lose your energy in one fell swoop.



Rip Off Master!




It was during the mid to late eighties when my stepmum worked within the hallowed halls of Mastertronic, so from time-to-time she'd pop back one of their budget games for me, which was like giving candy to a baby... and then not seeing that baby emerge from their room for the next two weeks!


Scarier than post-op Michael Jackson

I loved me a bit of Mastertronic because their games were offbeat but still eminently playable. A case in point is Nonterraqueous, which was a bizarre offering but nonetheless one that offered 1000+ screens of action! Amaurote provided stupendous graphics and yet, to this day, I still have no idea what that game was about! All I know is that is was great fun to play.


So when my stepmum brought home 'Chiller', I was full of expectant anticipation as the game loaded on my CPC. Well, it has to be said that the disappointment soon set in as it was pretty clear from the get-go that something was amiss. For someone who was so wet behind the ears as I was at the time, even I knew that what I was seeing couldn't be redeemed and that the cause looked hopeless.

Some screens seem to be taking their inspiration from paella
Blagger wants its game back

Looking back on it now with about 35 years of extra wisdom and clarity though, I can actually confirm that this game is... still a bit naff. The graphics are rudimentary, none more so than on the Spectrum version, and some screens seem to be taking their inspiration from paella. Upon entering many of the screens, you're trying to figure out where your player is in amongst the messy layout that stands before you.


In your quest to collect crosses from around the play area, you're hindered by ghouls and birds of prey who'll zap your energy until you're a goner. The lower the energy bar, the slower you can move and jump, and this is like treading water whilst the undead feed on you.


A grave way to die


The gameplay is fairly lacking, unfortunately, and the screens shouldn't take most of us mere mortals too long to complete. Each variation of the game prises out most of that particular system's worst traits according to the many programmers of the day, such as Amstrad (mode 0), Commodore (diminished colours), Spectrum (sprite clashing).


It may be worth seeking out an early version of the game, as it had an obviously ripped-off soundtrack to 'Thriller' to go along with the unoriginal gameplay. Mastertronic decided this could cause a few problems before deciding to repackage the game at an early stage with updated sonics. Unfortunately, the game has nothing to really come back to and will only serve to undramatically bore you to death.




Graphics

A calamitous muddle of graphics that would look better as a picture on a fridge door.


Sound

Some half-decent music is played on the CPC/C64 versions. Overall sounds are quite basic and fairly ineffective.


Gameplay

The levels aren't particularly difficult, but they lack any real authenticity.


Overall

I've played worse games in my time, but this one needed less daylight.




Comments

Platform Winners

Overall Ranking

19

23rd Place

Our lowest rated game of 1984

Our lowest rated platform game

Screenshots

...click here to enlarge

ROMs

Amstrad: download
Commodore: download
Spectrum: download

Pixel8Games'pick of 1984

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