Pastfinder (Commodore 64)

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Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.0
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  *Katakis* (37880)
Written on  :  Jul 08, 2013
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Nice graphics. Shame about everything else.

The Good

Like the many games in the early Eighties, Pastfinder has no real plot to speak of. The main objective is to find and collect some ancient artifacts and deposit them in the stations you occasionally come across, while avoiding hazards such as barriers and shooting down enemies that get in your way. Limited supplies can be used to help you, but more can be picked up along the way. If you get hit by a barrier or some other thing standing in your way, not only will you lose a life, but you'll also lose half of the artifacts you were carrying at the time. Your radiation meter rises as you skim across the surface, but this can be reduced if you shot down the crystals that float in the air. Letting this meter make its way to the top will cause you to lose a life.

There are some good graphics in this game, starting from the map where you have to select each square of land you can cover, and you can move to the next square after you have conquered the last one. Some of the squares are either yellow or red and this indicates the amount of radiation in that square. All these colors are useful because you'll know what supplies you need to equip.

During the game, I was mainly concerned with the shadows. Nearly everything except the barriers have their own shadow, to indicate how high the object is from the ground. It is excellent to watch your pastfinder's shadow grow large as he jumps over things, and crawls under airborne ones. The animation of the pastfinder is also excellent, and you can determine how fast he crawls along the surface. It is funny to watch it scurry across to the other side of the screen so that he can get through a gap in the barrier.

The Bad

The graphics are the only good thing about this game. I don't mind jumping over barriers or crawling under them, but you have to do this every five seconds; and timing is crucial in the game, and if you happen to jump at the wrong time, you are treated to an awful sound that indicates that you have just lost an life. And when you do, the screen scrolls up quite a bit (while not allowing you to get artifacts in the mean time), only for you to face the same barriers/enemies again.

The Bottom Line

With the boring gameplay and horrible sound, I don't understand why people praised this game. Zzap64 scored it a massive 85%, but this should have been lower than that. All you do is jump and shoot, jump and shoot, jump and shoot; and you hardly get the feeling of satisfaction from playing the game. The cover art looks good, but it doesn't represent the actual gameplay. If you really insist on playing Pastfinder, then play it when you have nothing better to do.