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Critic Reviews

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While the characters and effects (such as jets of flame) on the ST version are very artistically designed, the background is a bit of a disappointment, featuring large lumps of unvaried colour. There also isn't enough variation between levels, though I admit I haven't completed all 112. Fast moving and imaginative, then, but not perhaps original enough to sustain your interest in the long term.
Atari ST User (Sep, 1988)
The main pull with Shackled is that it is addictive, even if a little repetitive for the first few levels. This can be borne out my disappearing at 8 o'clock for 10 minutes to play the game and surfacing well after midnight, it should appeal to all you nocturnal players. One of the game's main disadvantages is that there is no freeze-frame facility either during or when you have successfully escaped a level, nor is there a save option. The omission of these two features will I suspect ensure that nobody ever exists the 112 levels claimed by the manufacturers. How's that for a challenge?
ST Action (Aug, 1988)
Shackled is, of course, inferior to Gauntlet II in every aspect and I still cannot think why U.S. Gold decided to release them at the same time. Shackled would have received much more favourable reviews had it been judged on its own, but the many similarities between the two games makes it impossible not to draw parallels, and this inevitably highlights the game's deficiencies.
The ST game suffers from atrocious graphics, jerkily-moving enemies and very mediocre sound FX and tunes. Disappointing.
The ungodly and crude and unimaginative in their behaviour so blasting them isn't very satisfying. Despite the appalling presentation, the game idea still has a certain charm, but whether that would be in evidence once you'd actually paid for the game is extremely doubtful. Atari ST version: More colourful, more speed, and boring.