Title Leander (Second Review) Game Type General Action Publisher Psygnosis Players 1 Compatibility OCS/AGA HD Installable Yes, with patch Submission Eric Haines (firstname.lastname@example.org) Review The 1987 Taito arcade game Rastan is one of my all-time favorites. You controlled a barbarian warrior-type who hacked and slashed his way through six side-scrolling levels. The gameplay was about perfect; I kept playing until I managed to win first on one quarter, then on one life. Naturally I wanted an Amiga version, but if there ever was one (Taito did advertise one as "forthcoming" at one point), I missed it. So, I kept buying Rastan-esque games in hopes of the next-best-thing. Three of them come to mind: Torvak the Warrior, Risky Woods, and Leander. Leander is the least like Rastan, but the best game of the three. It was released back when Psygnosis was publishing some of their better games, and it certainly holds up. One thing it has in abundance is the well-known Psygnosis polish. For the most part, it really gets the most out of standard A500 hardware. It's got very tasty graphics (with a Japanese flavour), fluid animation and scrolling, and some brilliant title-music. It even takes advantage of extra memory. (To reduce disk-loading, I think, and with three disks, that's a good thing. Alas, the hard-drive install patch fails on my copy of disk one, so I still have to play from floppy disks.) Like Risky Woods, an important element is killing enemies, picking up their money, and buying upgrades at shops. But while Rastan (and Torvak and Risky Woods) all have primarily one-way scrolling, in Leander you can wander all over the levels, going back and forth, up and down ladders, and even inside caves at will. Each level has a different objective (generally an object to pick up), which you're informed of at the beginning. There are three worlds in all, each with a bunch of levels and a distinct theme, so you'll be kept busy for quite some time. Fortunately for a game this large, you get passwords as you progress, so you don't have to start from the beginning each time. Unfortunately, the level design starts to unravel a little during world three (although the Lemmings sub-level is amusing), which detracts a bit from the perfection of the first two worlds, but not by much. Also unfortunately, the old 512K Chip RAM limit rears its head again, so you get to pick either sound effects or music but not both. The in-game music isn't as great as the title music anyway, so I usually went with the sound effects, which are fairly plentiful and complement the game better. But overall, if you like platform games, I don't see how you can go wrong with Leander. Like Rastan, it just "feels" right. My only real complaint is that, like a number of other games I completed, it promises a sequel - "Tigrander" in this case - that never materialized as far as I know.