Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Saul Morrow’s a young man with a little something extra in his genes. His dear father, Dr Kal Morrow, is the world’s most excellent scientist, his goal to create superhuman soldiers by combining the genes of powerful human beings and certain animals. As part of Project Wolfchild, the doctor has already succeeded in producing creatures with awesome strength and incredible psychic abilities.
Unfortunately, Dr Morrow’s work was discovered just as his experiment was perfected. The evil terrorist organisation C.H.I.M.E.R.A. headed by the ruthless Karl Draxx, kidnapped the doctor and massacred his wife and youngest son.
Returning home from a fishing trip, Saul’s horrified to find the bodies of his mother and brother and sets out to avenge their deaths and rescue his dad. He bravely steps into the experimental transmutation chamber and becomes the project’s first human guinea pig. Saul survives the transformation and emerges as the man-monster known as Wolfchild.
If you haven’t twigged by now, you take the role of Saul and your mission is to search nine levels for your pop. Your other objective is to destroy Draxx and C.H.I.M.E.RA once and for all.
The levels are jam-packed with bad guys, out for blood. Kill or evade them as Saul or powered-up as Wolfchild. then find the exit to make it through to the next stage. You’re confronted by boss characters at the end of every few levels, so be prepared.
If you’re a platform fan with a taste for a challenge, Wolfchild should be right up your street. There are loads of hidden items to find and secret passages to sniff out. The levels are large and packed with vile villains and awkward obstacles. If there are enough Master System owners with eyebrows that meet in the middle and hairy palms, it should be a howling success.
When I first laid eyes on Wolfchild, I thought I was dreaming — the graphics are stunning. I played the same game on Mega-CD a few months ago and the visuals are almost identical. Wolfchild and his assailants are incredibly well animated, while backdrops are detailed, colourful and clear.
Gameplay’s also pretty similar, only the levels have been reconstructed to make it more demanding. The first two levels aren’t too difficult but it gets a lot more challenging as it goes on.
Wolfchild offers good entertainment value. There are loads of hidden items and passages to find, which should keep you occupied, but the continuous flow of bad guys makes it too difficult. If you’re a hardened game fiend you’ll probably love Wolfchild, but I was pulling my hair out before I even got halfway through.
I found it surprisingly lacking in the sound department — there’s no theme tune or backing music, just a few effects. Although the Master System’s sound chip is limited, it’s capable of far better than this.
Overall, a good conversion with excellent visuals, but I don’t know why it’s been made so difficult.
Slobbering and howling onto the Master System comes Wolfchild, a challenging platform adventure with the coolest graphics I’ve seen for eons. The great thing about the hero in this adventure is he’s a sporty human who changes into a hairy werewolf when he collects an energy icon. As a man, Saul can only punch his way through enemies, but all types of weapons can be used as the wolf to fight from a distance.
The levels include many mazes and secret passageways to negotiate, plus end-of-level guardians which take some battering before they let you pass.
Visually, Wolfchild’s stunning, with detailed backdrops and slick animation on both the wolf and human characters. Some of the power-up icons are tricky to spot, as are the bombs planted on some platforms. You’re blown sky-high before you realise what you’ve trodden on!
If you fancy an adventure with hairy overtones, check out Wolfchild — it’s cooooool!
A challenging platform adventure — most players will find it on the difficult side