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Article #23 (79 is last):
From: ap803@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Robert Jung)
Subject: LYNX: Viking Child
Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Reply-To: ap803@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Robert Jung)
Date: Thu Nov  7 14:25:13 1991

  Well, how am I supposed to review the game if I don't have it?

1 player, horizontal game
Atari Corp., for the Atari Lynx
Stereo? No

    Can't a guy fulfill his destiny in peace? Brian the Viking child was just
sitting at home when the Norse god Loki appeared (between stints in GHOULS AND
GHOSTS, natch). Worried about the prophesy that Brian will grow up into a
mighty Viking leader, Loki has kidnapped Brian's family, spirited them across
the land, and dared the young boy to rescue them. If Brian can survive the
rescue of his family, he may get to fulfill this destiny someday.

    This is the premise of VIKING CHID, an action-adventure game for the Atari
Lynx, adapted from the European computer title. You play the part of Brian,
who must explore many stages of the side-view scrolling landscape in search of
your family. A family member has been hidden throughout the land, guarded by
both Loki's forces and a bit of deception. Only by agility and intelligence
can you complete this quest.

    When you boil the game down, VIKING CHILD is essentially a run-and-jump
quest game with a few adventure-gaming touches. Brian loses health over time
and in fights with monsters, while each victory earns money and points. Though
the trip is very linear, there is a lot of terrain to explore, and houses,
castles, and caves contain shops selling weapons and magic. Finally, you can't
exit a level without first uncovering and defeating the level's chieftain
monster, who is hidden from immediate view.

    In the end, the combination of action and adventure is only partially
successful, which hampers the appeal. As an action game, VIKING CHILD is a bit
slow; Brian walks and jumps at a modest rate, while monsters run and jump all
over the place. There are numerous fights, but they consist mainly of poking
creatures with a dagger or throwing weapons against them. And while there is
much to see, this game offers none of the sophistication of real role-playing
games. In its favor, VIKING CHILD is a tough game, with time limits and
Loki's forces combining to whittle down your health.

    The graphics on VIKING CHILD are done fairly well. The adventure itself
makes good use of earth-tone colors and detail.  Brian and the creatures are
drawn small enough to give a good view of the surrounding area, without losing
much detail. There are also some elegant static screens and lots of cute
touches throughout. Sounds, in contrast, are an absolute minimum. There are
some nice scores, but the few primary game sounds are simply basic.

    While VIKING CHILD is a pleasant diversion, it is missing the refinements
needed for greatness. The biggest appeal is in exploring the land and just
trying to survive, but it should not be mistaken for an adventure game.
Still, if you're looking for something that's a little more than the typical
run-and-jump title, VIKING CHILD is worth a try.

                GAMEPLAY:        7
                GRAPHICS:        8
                SOUND:           6
                OVERALL:         7

  Rating values  10 - 8   Great! This game can't get much better.
                  7 - 5   Good. Average game, could be improved.
                  4 - 2   Poor. For devotees only.
                      1   Ick. Shoot it.


  Looks like the race for Lynx games is going to come down to the wire...


   Send whatevers to    |    If it has pixels, I'm for it.
--------------------------------------+------------------------------Lynx up!
       "If it moves, shoot it. If it doesn't move, shoot it anyway."

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