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|Alligata Software Ltd|
Isometric arcade adventure
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Issue 1 (Nov 1985)
Added: 15 Jun 2016
Alligata Software, Â£8.95 cass
Doppleganger is a forced perspective (or 3D) arcade adventure in the same mold as Knight Lore. It's one of the first of such games written initially for the Amstrad. The purpose of the game is to recover ingots of gold, silver and bronze and carry them to the start screen. The game is played in a castle and the start screen is the west battlements.
You control a sorceress whose quest it is to recover the loot. Exactly why the dosh has to be brought to this particular location is not clearly explained but c'est la vie, eh?
Actually you control the sorceress and her alter ego as two separate characters. An interesting twist, as certain locations in the game are only available to
one or the other personae. You collect an item simply by passing over it with your character. However, you may only carry one item at a time and therefore a good deal of retracing old steps is necessary to get on in this game.
Certain doors are locked and the correctly colour coded key is necessary to pass through them. Once opened, they remain that way. Another complication is the fact that there is an hour glass which exhausts its supply of sand disturbingly quickly during the game. There is a room where a facility for replenishing the supply exists, but of course, you have to find it first. Once the supply is exhausted, it's the end or the game. Contact with the various nasties in the game, increases the speed of sand falling through the hour-glass during the time you are being attacked. Evidently it is imperative that these be avoided at all times. One of the nasties is a spider; he is the only creature able to kill you outright (that we encountered, there's also supposed to be a Gorgon who could be pretty nasty) and protection against such evil must be sought if you are to complete the game.
The last of the obstacles in your way is the recovery of the loot itself. Some of the ingots are easily accessible at the beginning of the game but others only appear once you have made some kind of progress.
The game is split into twenty five rooms. That isn't a phenomenal amount by any means but the programmer has put faith in the ability of the puzzles involved with moving around to prevent monotony setting in. You only have one life and there is one difficulty level.
Control keys: all redefinable
The central problem with this game is controlling the main character. Joy control is abysmal and using the redefined keys option doesn't prevent confusion from setting in due to the poor implementation of movement. The graphics themselves are very well done with the exception of the main character. You feel like you're moving a Russian doll around as she slides across the floor. The effect of the 'transparent' alterâ€”ego does deserve some credit, however. The sound effects too, are original and apt. More of their kind would grace many another game on the market. The graphics and sound are definitely the highlights of the game, but smooth and colourful though they are, they can't make up for a game which remains unplayable. And the character of tne sorceress is just so badly done, it spoils the game terribly.
I couldn't get anywhere with this game and rapidly got bored with it, despite the promising graphics and interesting sound. There was room to do far more than was actually put into the game and the result is there's just not enough there. It realty could have been something to shout about. The idea of the sorceress with the alterâ€”ego is excellent and could have led to a more worthwhile game. Despite the fact that controlling the character is so difficult, I feel that the rest of what is there is very good and the only explanation for its appearance in this state is that it must have been rushed. Doppleganger is an unfortunate failure. It could have been so much more...
There's no way to actually fight anything! That really annoyed me. You can protect yourself against some of the beasties but the rest, you have to avoid. Everybody I ikes being able to nuke something occasionally, and the lack of such ability in this game leaves you really frustrated. Why there couldn 't have been a decent way of moving around. I don't know but the result is a really disappointing game. Come to think of it, there aren't even enough baddies to enjoy the scene whilst you're getting killed off over and over again. Ah, well.
Neat and reasonably packaged, although rather confusing instructions, but otherwise forgettable.
Good use of colour and screen layout but spoiled by the bad character drawing
Very good indeed when there is any but lacking in quantity of effects.
Poorly thought out movement cripples the whole game
Addictive qualities 50%
That's optimistic considering given the game's limitations but given because of the excellent background graphics which some may find appealing.
Value for money 47%
Too many serious mistakes for the price.
Sadly missed potential.
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