C64 Review of Vixen from Issue 40

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On Granath, a distant planet in a parallel universe, dinosaurs still roam the plains and wander through the jungles. They have destroyed all but a few animals and one human - Vixen. Found abandoned as a child she was raised by the foxes and granted magic powers from the Sages. Though she carries a Magic Whip and has the ability to turn herself into a fox, life is a constant struggle to survive.

Vixen's quest takes place in three separately loaded parts over a series of timed, horizontally scrolling levels. Mysterious prehistoric trees overhang leafy jungles and rocky paths. dangerous fissures and hazardous rivers, fatal if Vixen falls into them, mark the ground.

Mutant dinosaurs, in the form of floating fiend-like faces flying pterodactyls and running mini brontosauri rush in to attack and kill on contact. Fortunately, most aliens can be dispatched with one or two well-placed flicks of the Magic Whip.

Bonus icons are scattered around the hostile environment. Whipping these transforms them into collectable objects: gems for extra points, other items for extra time and lives. A series of mystery objects have a variety of helpful and harmful effects.

As Vixen collects fox time icons a fox's head progresses along the display panel. Once the head has moved to its maximum setting and the current round has been completed. Vixen metamorphoses into a fox and enters a bonus level, underground. Here there are no aliens; but should she fail to finish before the time runs out Vixen loses one of five lives. Falling down a hole or into water terminates the fox level.

Bonus objects collected underground can be of use on the surface: mega whips kill all enemies with one hit and mega gems increase scoring potential. Any mega items currently in use are indicated on the status display which also show time remaining, score and number of lives left.

This review was typed in/OCRed by Luke

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In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

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Paul Sumner
Phwoar, what a tough girlie this Vixen is, charging around in the prehistoric jungle, with nowt for protection but her whip, and the strange ability to change into a fox. Vixen herself has a great time leaping and bounding around the screen, although I haven't yet worked out what most of the meanies are supposed to be: monochromatic sprites strike again(!). Sound consists of an instantly forgettable tune that unfortunately plays throughout the game, and an odd sound that is heard when the tough girlie ends a level or dies, it actually sounds as if she is laughing: strange that she should laugh at her own death, but then maybe she's happy to get out of the game. Overall an OK collect-em-up that I soon found boring, due mainly to the lack of variety.
Gordon Houghton
If only this game was as provocative and dynamic as the underdressed stereotype which graces its packaging: unfortunately, when you load up the cassette and play the contents, you soon discover that this is yet (yawn) another one of those (yawn) horizontal scrolling shoot 'em upzzzzz... For shoot 'em up read whip 'em up, for aliens read gangly jungle blobs, for action read tedium. It's not terrible - the animation sequences (particularly on the fox) are quite good, and the sound is OK - it's just the gameplay and the endless sequence of whip 'n' run. Even the daft disco dancing death sequence doesn't provide enjoyment for too long, and once you've discovered the game's secrets (within the five minutes), there's not much there to draw you back.
Paul Glancey
Hmmm. . . Once again marketing methods triumph over quality as yet another scantily-clad female is hitched to a mediocre game. Although the foxy nymphette is digitised, the animation looks stilted, sometimes to the extent of being comical (witness the case of the boogying drowning sequence), and only the fox movement is good enough to be described as 'film-like'. Some creatures look like they've been designed by someone with revolutionary ideas concerning anatomy, the more obscure resembling animated coffee tables and shambling pixel swarms. Gameplay is very uncomplicated: the action varies little beyond moving right and whipping objects and animals with no overall object apart from trying to stay alive. Repetitive, flawed and pointless, Vixen could provide entertainment for an hour or so, but only for Page Three fans seeking a new method of titillation.
Free medium-sized poster but no substantial options.

Colourful, with some neat animation sequences, but on the whole, plain and unimaginative.

A bland tune which won't strike many as being the best piece of music on the 64.

A little too easy to begin with, but the transformation sequences and progression hold some small appeal.

There's very little variety to draw you back unless the feeble crack of leather whips appeals.

Lamb dressed up as scantily-clad mutton.