Title Baal Publisher Pygnosis/Psyclapse, 1987 Game Type Shoot-em-up Players 1 Compatibility All (With Patch) HD Installable Yes (With Patch) Submission Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer Review Baal is what you might call an action-based platform game, in that you take control of a team of action heroes that must blast their way through horizontally and vertically scrolling levels, which involve platforms, ladders, a lot of enemies, and, of course, a fair amount of blasting. In principle, not unlike the superb Turrican, then. Apparently you (a futuristic archeoligist) discovered that the Demon Baal is about to take over the world by using a dreadful weapon that will help him enslave or destroy the unfortunate population. As far as I can tell, you then assemble a group of Time Warriors to seek out and destroy Baal, and recover the weapon. I say a "group", but this in reality simply means you have several lives. There are no individual abilities, and only "one of you" appears at a time. Well, experience teaches one not to expect too much from these background plots.... Essentially then, the order of the day is: Move the character about, being wary of walking into projectiles from various demon minions, avoid the land mines etc, and find the various "switches" that control forcefields which restrict your access to other areas. Its also one of those irritating games (for me at least) where if you return to a screen where you have killed an enemy, it has miraculously returned to life and will happily reciprocate your earlier aggression. How I hate that! The look of the game is very much like a polished C64 title, or an arcade game from that era, and although some effort has been made on the static screens there is little to enthuse about in the visual department generally. The early Pygnosis hallmark of looking relatively good until it moves is in evidence here. I have to say though, that the sound, while quite basic, is actually highly effective, with the metallic footsteps of your character moving across platforms, and the low hum of nearby generators creating a suitable atmosphere. There is also some pretty good game design, and some people are going to enjoy cautiously finding their way through the game, re-charging their weapon, and emerging relatively unscathed from the many encounters. I, on the other hand, found it just too much like hard work, with little flair or reward for the player. In fairness though, more patient players, with a penchant for this sort of game may well consider it to be great fun, and I must admit to being quite pleased on successfully completing an area and travelling in a small flying vehicle to another location. In the end though I have to say the game is just too frustrating and demanding of patience for my taste, and I'll take the polish and seductive graphics of Turrican over this any day.