Title Cyber Games Game Type Beat-em-up Company Cyberpunk Developments Players 1 or 2 Available Aminet Submission Courtesy of Sean Caszatt Review If you can remember the heyday of the Commodore 64, you might remember a game called BARBARIAN. If not, let me briefly explain the object of the game. In a nutshell: seperate your opponent's head from its body. BARBARIAN preceded the infamous MORTAL KOMBAT by about seven years and, if you can remember how popular MK was with kids, you can probably imagine how kids reacted to it in the '80's. They loved it. I believe an Amiga version was released at around the same time but, since I couldn't afford an Amiga back then, I never played it. Looking back, it seems kind of simplistic, but most of the games we now remember as "classics" were simple as well as very addictive. Well, some European programmers have taken the BARBARIAN concept and given it an update to a cyberpunkish theme and added a few bits of their own. The game itself is basically a 2D swordfighting game that pits two players, either a human vs computer or human vs human, against each other. Using the joystick, a number of different "moves" are available, like thrusting the sword at your opponent's chest, spin moves, ducking and jumping. An added feature not available in BARBARIAN is a scaffolding that can be climbed, and dangled from, which gives you the ability to get on the other side of your opponent. Another new feature is the ability to buy powerups, like bionic arms and bigger weapons. The graphics are mostly well done. The movement of the fighters is a bit on the jerky side, but, as a whole, the visuals are pleasing to the eye. Some of the intro sections of the game feature digitized pictures of the programmer's relatives that have been altered into some rather fearsome looking fighters. The sound and music during the intro is top-notch, but it falters slightly during the actual game. Still, it's not bad. The main problem, and the reason I can't recommend the game, is the control of the fighters. There are a lot of moves to make and the computer doesn't have to fumble with the joystick to make them. Too many times I found myself struggling to make a move of any kind, only to look up and find my warrior on his knees, his neck severed and his head lying beside him. Playing against a friend improves the game considerably, but you'll both be struggling with your controllers instead of making planned moves and feeling like you know what's really going on. There's a lot of potential here, but the lack of effectively selecting and performing the moves hampers the fun too much. All in all, it's a noble effort that falls short of the mark. There's a lot of charming (and delightfully disgusting) ideas, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. With some work, this can be great game.