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Netherworld

aka: Abyss Zone
Moby ID: 2252
Amiga Specs

Description official description

In this game you are trapped in Netherworld. With your space ship you have to make your way through different levels with a hostile environment. Under a time limit you have to collect diamonds to get to the next level. The game is filled with dragons, moving mines, acid spitting creatures and lots more. Your space ship is able to shoot, furthermore you can collect several power ups, such as sand glasses to ease the time limit, shield restore or items that give you invulnerability.

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Credits (Amiga version)

6 People

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 70% (based on 15 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.6 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings with 1 reviews)

a great nostalgic and old style gaming experience

The Good
In Netherworld you fly with a space ship through several levels with quite some surrealistic settings. The first level for instance seems to be made of some big molecules combined with masonry walls, acid spitting dragons sitting on them. Another level consists mostly of big skulls and goat heads gushing flying eyeballs and blood. There is nasty stuff all around, everywhere there are strange wells pouring all kinds of hostile absurdities. At least your ship has the ability to shoot some of these things out of the way. In every level there are warp portals you can use to get to other parts of the current stage. Your goal is to collect a certain number of diamonds. After you have done that you can warp through one of those portals to the next level.

As just described, flying through the environments brings you in contact with lots of hostile things, touching one of them strains your energy. If your energy bar gets down to zero, you loose one ship and will be placed at the start of the current level, all things accomplished to that point remain done. Only after all ships are spent you see "Game over". It is an old style arcade game, which means there is no save game option. You have to restart every time anew, making your way over and over again through the first stages of the game to reach the higher ones.

Though the game play is far from being repetitive. Once you have to find secret doors in the walls to get to diamonds, another time there are not enough diamonds so you have to push stones into a diamond squeezer to turn those stones into diamonds. One level consists of closed rooms where you can get only by using the warp portals, and so have to find the right order of using the portals to get to all of the rooms and collect the necessary diamonds.

All that is done under a time limit. If time runs out you loose one ship and have to start the current stage completely anew. Lots of items there are to collect such as invulnerability, brick smasher, time clocks to ease the time limit, extra ships and so on. In the end Netherworld is a very addictive and interesting mix of action and puzzle game with a good part of exploring to do, where these portions are held in good balance, though by the time limit things might get a bit hectic from time to time and so will remind you more of an action game.

Netherworld has several graphic options, EGA, CGA and Tandy. Especially with EGA the game looks great, colorful and various. It is a side-scroller, with the scrolling absolutely smooth. I don't know much about programming, but Netherworld obviously is well coded. I play this one on my fourth computer now and it still runs perfectly without any speed or compatibility problems.

The Bad
As I said before, this is an old style arcade game. One plays the first levels a hundred times and more while the higher ones you see only on a few occasions. Not much of a flaw, just a matter of taste. You like that or not.

The PC version of Netherworld has sound only by the internal speakers which is just fine with the sound effects while the music gets quite annoying after a short time. Fortunately you can turn off music or effects alternatively.

I think the only real flaw is the high score list. You cannot put your name in it, just the number of reached points appears, not your name. And even that seems not to work every time. Pretty bad, for I get a lot of motivation at the possibility of beating my own high score, especially at those arcade games.

Needless to say that you have to see this game in its time. Outdated graphics and sounds by nowadays standards are hardly a flaw.

The Bottom Line
Netherworld is just fun to play. Out of a time where nobody understood words like "3D-accelerator", it has all that a good game needs: innovative, addictive and fluid gameplay.

Maybe I am hopelessly nostalgic, but despite all those new high tech games out there I still play old pearls like Netherworld over and over again and certainly will do so in the years to come.

DOS · by xcom1602 (929) · 2003

Trivia

The grinning person in the game cover art bears definite resemblance to Jukka Tapanimäki, the designer/programmer of the original C64 version of the game.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by xcom1602.

Antstream added by firefang9212. Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64 added by Riamus. ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC added by Martin Smith.

Additional contributors: WWWWolf.

Game added August 28th, 2000. Last modified October 1st, 2023.