Title           Exile
Game Type       Action Adventure
Players         1
Compatibility   AGA and ECS versions
Submission      Andy Clitheroe (Celebrity Reviewer)

Exile first took over my life way back when I still had my BBC Micro. I'd
read the reviews at least a hundred times; scrutinised the screenshots and
adverts for hours (I was a very sad child with no friends) and almost wet
myself with excitement when it turned up in the little package from Superior
Software. Which makes it doubly impressive that I was STILL blown away
completely when I first ran it. Something about seeing that little man
running about under the control of my tentative fingers whispered "Here is
something very, very cool that is going to keep on being cool for a VERY
LONG TIME". And the little voice was right.
 But this is an Amiga game review, so I should really be concentrating on
that version. While the BBC version was the most technically astounding
thing I've ever seen, given the hardware, it was pretty much par for the
course on the Amiga to have scrolling, colourful little men and imps jumping
about, sampled sound, that kind of thing. The idea of the game was to
retrieve a stolen bit of your ship from deep within the caverns riddling the
surface of some misbegotten planet out in the arse end of nowhere. On your
jetpack travels there were all sorts of little techno-widgets lying about
waiting to be used, as well as a few weapons, the local sub-monkey
inhabitants, sentry droids and radioactive rocks. Your fuel tank was finite
but capacious, and could be replenished by finding power cells or,
alternatively, by feeding the radioactive rocks to a little droid controlled
by a whistle. Figuring out what to do with everything was almost as much fun
as messing with the artificially intelligent heads of the sentry droids and
turrets. Unfortunately, some of the "cheats" from the BBC version didn't
work on the Amiga version. One in particular had me beside myself with joy:
quite near the start of the game was a locked door, behind which was a
stupidly powerful sentry turret, a teleport, and a protection suit that you
weren't supposed to have until much later in the game when you had a key to
open the door. BUT, the local joiners hadn't fitted the door properly and
there was *just* enough of a gap for you to fire bullets through. The turret
saw the bullets and vomited piles of grenades at them, and if you persevered
it eventually, sometimes, chucked one behind the protection suit which blew
it through the teleporter to a location you could reach and collect it from.
Another oddity was more of a bug really; if you pushed yourself into the
angled corner of one of the rooms, saved your position and teleported to it,
it sometimes put you in the solid block above. Weirder still, if you
wriggled around you slowly rose up through the earth and into a completely
new area of the game. Even without quirks like that, the Amiga version was
an utter joy to play. The sounds were OK, the graphics irrelevant really;
the BBC version was just as good with lower resolution and less colours.
There were no artificial, atmosphere-destroying "levels" to progress
through, no "lives" to run out of, it was just you and the vast, mysterious,
unexplored world of Exile. And mushrooms.

Oh, and I happen to hold the record for the fastest (and earliest)
completion of the Amiga version (I rang the competition number and verified
my time and completion code and everything), and I never did get the
"mystery prize" promised in the advert. I wonder what it was...

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