Superheroes are in fashion again. Last issue Batman returned, now we have another DC Comics lycra lout, The Flash. Should you rush off to buy it or stop in and clean the kitchen?

Welcome to Central City, a mid-America metropolis tourists should avoid. Plagued by violence, poverty and poor policing, it's one of the most criminally-populated areas of the United States.

But these aren't the only factors which make Central City different. The police are aided by a mysterious masked vigilante, know as The Flash. Like a crimson bolt of lightning, the Scarlet Speedster seemingly appears from nowhere to save the city.

Unknown to Central City's population in general, and the cops in particular, The Flash is, in fact, police scientist Barry Allen. While working in his laboratory during a violent storm, Barry was struck by a bolt of lightning. Stumbling backwards, he fell into a cabinet of chemicals and passed out. When he came to, Barry found he'd gained the ability of super-speed.

Barry Allen walks on water

After witnessing the death of his brother at die hands of thugs, he vowed to use his new-found powers to battle crime. With the aid of Star Labs' scientist Tina McGee, he constructed a special red costume to cut down friction at high speeds. Tina monitors Barry as he races round the city, keeping criminals at bay.

The Flash game features two of the Scarlet Speedster's toughest foes: The Trickster and The Trachmann. The diabolical duo have formed an alliance in order to loot Central City and destroy The Flash, once and for all.

Using The Flash's powers, race round Central City and intercept the madmen before they complete their plans. The Flash's speed powers enable him to dodge bullets, run on water and even up walls.

While standing still, The Flash can vibrate his body and destroy nearby enemies or blocks containing special items. These items include food (for energy), extra lives and continues. Power-up gadgets include magnetic field protection units, which create an energy shield around The Flash, and whirlwinds, capable of transforming the Scarlet Speedster into a human tornado.

Time of his life

Each of six levels is divided into two sub-sections. At the end of the first two levels, The Flash goes up against the Trickstermobile. Throwing Flash icons and dodging flames, he must disable the car before it crashes into him.

Time is always against The Flash: a clock ticks away at the bottom of the screen. Find extra time items and complete the level before the clock hits zero.

Lose all lives and The Flash is given the opportunity to continue — but only if he's collected a continue icon during the game. If he has, he starts at the beginning of the level or from a restart point, if he found one before he died.

Can you halt the rampage of The Trickster and The Trachmann? Only The Flash has the power to do it. Get ready — it's time to start running!

Tim yelps... ‘GREAT CART’

When I first heard of this game, I thought it was going to be about a dirty old man in a macintosh. I was much relieved to find The Flash is based on the super-fast superhero of the same name.

I was pleasantly surprised by the graphics; they really are impressive. The backdrops are colourful and imaginative and animation's damn good — at first I thought I was playing a 16-bit game!

Gameplay's fast and furious but very similar, in places, to a certain hedgehog-based game. The Flash has high lastability because it's blinkin' hard to crack. I have to admit, it took me some time to get past the first level. The controls are generally simple but some manoeuvres get more complex as the game goes on.

To sum up, The Flash is a great cartridge, the visuals are brilliant and the gameplay's very challenging yet still addictive. However, originality is not one of its strong points.

TIM 89%

Mat zooms... ‘HIGH-SPEED ACTION’

The crimson comet whizzes onto the Master System, blazing a lightning trail behind him! Although The Flash is based on the hit TV series and not the comic-books, it still has a wonderful four-colour appeal to it. It's not up to Sonic The Hedgehog speeds but The Flash has enough high-speed action for anyone.

You may not have heard about The Flash, but after Superman and Batman, he's DC Comics' top hero. The recent BSkyB series introduced the bloke in the red cowl to more people and Sega have seen fit to produce an MS game based on his heroic exploits.

The basic idea's nothing new: race around various levels, defeat a handful of bad guys and find the exit. However, The Flash offers a challenge for platform freaks as there's only one difficulty setting — and that's difficult!

Don't expect to finish this in a few hours. There are loads of puzzles to solve, death-traps to avoid and bad guys to batter before you move onto the next level.

The main sprites are well-defined, The Flash instantly recognisable in red and yellow pyjamas. Sticking closely to the the TV series, backgrounds have a weird mix of Forties and Nineties' architecture.

Soundwise, The Flash doesn't suffer too badly from the MS's poor sound chip, atmospheric tunes added for effect and sound FX cartoony. Not exactly Sonic but definitely worth checking out for super-speed action!

MAT 91%

MF Rating

Graphics
84
Sound
59
Playability
74
Lastability
89

90

A fast-paced platform game with a high challenge setting. Fun for a few weeks

Rating
90
Reviewer
Sega Master Force magazine
Region
UK
Scans
Sega Master Force - Issue 2

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