Producer: Hewson Consultants
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £5.95
Language: machine code
Author: Steve Marsden & Dave Cooke


Fish and Micro-chips please

Hewson Consultants have generally steered clear of the more normal type of arcade game, so it comes as something of a surprise to see Technician Ted which is very much an arcade platform game. With their recent history, however, it is no surprise to see that Hewsons have waited until they got their hands on a real strong contender. This is the first ever program from the duo of Steve Marsden and Dave Cooke, who have set their game in the environment they know best, the silicon chip factory.

Technician Ted has to walk around a very large plant collecting chips, while avoiding the numerous hazards. It would be hard not to compare this new game with Manic Miner, which on the surface it resembles. Indeed, there are even sly references in some of the room names. But once into the game it soon becomes apparent that Technician Ted isn’t quite so MMish as one might expect.

For a start off, the chips cannot all be reached, some rooms are impossible to get into, and others contain routes between hazards that look impossible — and are! But the secret lies in how you go about playing the game, and gradually all becomes clearer. There are several levels to the factory, and as in Pyjamarama a lift room allows access to other floors, although holes in the floors and ceilings also link between screens.

An unusual idea is that there are no lives as such but a long purple bar slowly recedes across the screen as you lose a life. As a result you may have between 30 odd and zero lives. Once down to zero the scene cuts to the exterior of the chip factory where Ted gets the boot, literally, from the boss. Scoring is by tasks completed and time, set against a real time clock.




What no real malt?

Control keys: Q and O/W and P left/right, bottom row to jump
Joystick: doesn’t need one
Keyboard play: simplicity itself, very responsive
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: excellent
Sound: excellent
Skill levels: difficult to start, gets progressively worse
Lives: as many as 32, but they go quickly enough
Screens: about 50
General rating: excellent, and great value for money.

Use of computer93%
Getting started92%
Addictive qualities97%
Value for money99%

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