Games Software Review

Ghouls
Program Power

ADDICTED TO BEING EATEN...

AFTER numerous fruitless attempts to retrieve stolen power jewels, being continually and mercilessly eaten alive by spiders and dropped through broken floorboards, I feel that I am well-justified in describing Ghoul as addictive.

I now fill the top ten scores for today (under a variety of pseudonyms) and have still not progressed past the second sheet.

As you will by now realise, one of the great attractions(?) of this game from Program Power is that it cannot be mastered in a couple of minutes.

The scene is set in a deadly haunted mansion and your task is to rescue power jewels from the mischievous ghosts that stole them.

If you can perfect the knack of leaping over cracked floorboards and deadly spikes you are faced by moving platforms.

Throughout the game you are pursued by the ever-lurking spooky ghost. (He seems to crop up everywhere - especially when you are nearing the jewels.)

I very much like the idea of having to watch out for a multitude of hazards and enemies with only a few controls at one's disposal.

No, I'm not a masochist. It's just refreshing to be able to play a game almost straightaway without having first to digest a lengthy and complicated list of instructions and controls.

You do have a power pill which disables the ghost for a short while, but otherwise it's all down to coordination and dexterity in running and jumping out of harm's way. This requires practice and a great deal of patience.

The game is visually successful in creating a spooky setting, and choosing to play with sound effects only enhances the atmosphere.

Ghoul is simple but effective. Now I really must go and have one last stab at retrieving those jewels ...

Karen Torevell