Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
The SS Lucifer is in deep trouble. After colliding with a huge iceberg in Greenland, a huge hole has ripped into her hull - and the water is gushing in. Pipes have burst, fires are raging, and 70,000 tons of ice-cold sea water are pouring into the vessel faster than the pumps can handle. On hearing the distress call on his small isolated island, Kevin springs into action and climbs aboard his Explorer Class Submersible equipped for a daring rescue mission. Help the passengers reach their escape hatch through 90 rooms with just a few bombs, a rescue dinghy and some jetpacks. It'll take some doing, though: the passengers are total dimwits!
Step into the shoes of a young life-saver, Kevin, then face over 90 challenging platform levels that get more complex the further you go. SS Lucifer is a puzzling platformer with trial and error being the only way to complete this. The idea is simple: whether it's cooks, sailors or thick waiters, each and every room gives you a set number of passengers to rescue. As the escort, there are two exits to consider - first guide the passengers to their own escape hatch, then find yours to get to the next level.
Typical of the Codies this has an addictive quality as every level comprises constructive platform ideas. Dropping blocks to blow open doors and crates, then operating a crane to drop more blocks into the gap passengers must cross safely, is something that requires pinpointing the trouble spots, sussing out exactly where the dim passengers will walk and then clearing all dangers in the little time available so everything runs smoothly.
The graphics are tiny basic sprites reminiscent of the Spectrum era. But the playability is essentially clever, adapted to keep players engrossed in the puzzles - working conveyor belts, timing moving components to perfection and gaining much satisfaction as a result. With over 90 levels, the challenge stretches out like the Pacific Ocean. The multitude of platform components arranged differently on every level keep you plugging away - and exciting new puzzles crop up, the further you go through the ship. Sounds are tinny and dire but this is a whole lot of fun nevertheless. A portable puzzler that should not be overlooked.
A nice puzzle concept, but the levels do get repetitive after a while.
More suited to the handheld than the MD, this is a decent puzzler.
With such titchy sprites, it's sometimes hard to see what's going on.
▲ Cleverly structured levels that'll have you hooked right from the start.
▼ Tiny sprites that may have you squinting now and then
▲ Some good music accompanying the title screens.
▼ Few sounds worth listening to during play. A bit on the tinny side.
▲ Instantly addictive. The puzzles really keep you on your toes.
▼ After completing this there's little incentive to do it all over again.
▲ 90 levels to complete in a game that's addictive right from the start.
▼ The early levels are perhaps far too easy for older players.
An enjoyable and very playable portable puzzler that only falls flat when you've completed it. Well worth a look.