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atari mania
Written by  :  Kayburt (16678)
Written on  :  Sep 15, 2022
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars

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Not quite a Nitemare

The Good

When you start the game, it's a tricky start, but you'll get used to it soon enough. There are some good mechanics included in the game to make playing it somewhat easier. The guns (not the wand) come with iron sights, which combined with the unique ability to turn slowly make precise aiming a cool feature. Combat in the game has some variety in that different weapons have different effects on some enemies, though you must exercise caution that you don't waste ammo on an enemy impervious to that kind of weapon. The generous pentagrams found in trunks are a relief from the hardness of the game.

The nice breakup from shooting enemies is solving puzzles which take the form of pushing objects, finding safe combinations and opening cleverly hidden panels. It's fun to blast some walls around levels too. The handy automap and enemy indicator, plus a secret panel detector that doesn't require you to spam the spacebar, serve to help 100% the levels, though you do need power to keep them going. The game also takes the liberty of keeping the player well informed with current coordinates, enemies remaining and the secrets and keys not found.

The Bad

Many of the gameplay physics in the way they work make the game's difficulty more aggravating than the difficulty level that you choose. Even "Be Gentle" isn't being gentle with your character Hugo, it's hardly worth picking the higher difficulties. No matter which difficulty you choose, it doesn't change the fact that you can run into dead ends from certain actions when doing puzzles like the infamous vampire puzzle in episode 1, level 10. As a result saving your game is absolutely mandatory unless you've mastered every level. And enjoy seeing the same wall textures from level to level.

Enemies in this game look okay as pixelated sprites, but the 3D voxel-looking models of the later game versions look hideous. Later enemies like blue witches will absolutely devastate you before you have a fighting chance. Almost all enemies you face are hitscan attackers, whereas you have mostly projectile weapons, which work in a very odd way. Firing your weapons close at an enemy does a lot of damage and firing them at a distance does less damage. When you shoot your projectiles some distance from the enemy then chase them as they go towards the targeted enemy, the damage is a lot. That doesn't even make any sense. The fourth weapon makes the first one entirely obsolete. Oh! And if you run out of ammo heaven forbid, you'll have no way to defend yourself (or blast walls you need to destroy), because Hugo won't pistol whip. Worst of all, unlike other FPS games at the time, you only get one life.

The Bottom Line

The game in all its capacity is pretty unforgiving, especially to those new to first person shooters. If this game was trying to scare you, it didn't execute it very well. You're faced with one of many Wolf 3D clones, but this one lacks the thrill of the more action-packed FPSes that followed the Wolfenstein formula, such as Corridor 7 and Blake Stone. With all the existing flaws, it's not even remotely close to being a step on their level of great gameplay. Of course if you want a tame 3D shooter that has none of the blood and excessive violence, Nitemare 3D is a good choice, but I don't recommend this one as a Halloween gift.

atari yars