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aka: Stuart Hill
JSW - The Utility Cubicles (48k)
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"Utility Cubicles" is a game that was made as an experiment in using Paul
Rhodes' editor, and so it's a fairly stream-of-consciousness effort. It's actually pretty
cool, split into sections like the Castle, the Pyramid and so on, all of which kinda gives
the impression a little world all of its own. You could always complain about the abstract
layout (the exact same one as in the original game) or the lack of plot, but hey, unless
I'm *very* much mistaken you're here to do homage to a pair of games about a little guy
running around mines/houses populated by a wealth of animals, mutants, robots and
household objects, ALL of which are fatal to touch, so don't you start about plot errors.
Who needs plot anyway? Nobody ever bought Tomb Raider for a plot. Nooooo, they bought it
for two large round objects bouncing up and down. Willy did it's damndest to compete, but
the thing in the bathroom just wasn't the right kind of round things (we think - no-one is
fully sure what they actually *are*) Anyway, the gist of this rambling nonsense is, get
this game. It's not like you're paying for it anyway. Don't you know a free lunch when you
Review by the
|Monstrum! is based on the autobiography of
Tony 'Doc' Shiels, which was published by Fortean Tomes in 1990.
Got that? Good...
Tony Shiels is a painter who, for
the past forty years or so, has worked in the Cubist, Rheotist, Abstract and Surrealist
traditions. He has exhibited widely and has been described as "the finest painter of
abstract seascapes" within the St. Ives' School. He has also worked in the spheres of
theater, music and conjuring.
NOT a very good basis for a wacky
JSW game, is it? That would be so if it weren't for Tony's 'alter-ego', the genuinely
bizarre 'Doc' Shiels. Imagine the scene - Doc is standing on a cliff top, overlooking the
mighty Helford River. While his assistant fires out a Celtic tune on a button accordion,
Doc violently shakes what seems to be a cow skull, shouting at the top of his lungs,
"Morgawr! Morgawr!" He is attempting to summon the famous Cornish sea-serpent.
Doc did a lot of this, mainly in the late seventies,
and claims to have aided in the summoning of Morgawr, The Loch Ness Monster (which he
photographed), a bizarre winged-entity called The Owlman, and a Marine Pieste (a type of
Irish sea-serpent). He describes all this in his autobiography, 'Monstrum!', which is well
worth a read. What exactly Doc Shiels was attempting to accomplish during this period is
'complex' to say the least, and only one author, Jonathan Downes, has attempted to get to
the bottom of it; his book, 'The Owlman and Others', is also worth a read.
When writing my previous Willy
game, I included a secret room called 'Doc Shiels' Sea-Head Factory' (Sea-Heads are an
artistic symbol Doc uses). The room was created mainly because of the similarity between
Willy's top hat and Doc's (slightly taller) stove-pipe hat; this lead to my contemplation
of an entire game based on Doc's weird adventures - Andrew Broad has proved conclusively
that the subject matter for a Willy game can be decidedly non-Willy. So I did do this, and
here is the result.
So, the instructions for the
Recreate Doc's adventures while
collecting various 'goodies' on the way; after all they're there, so why shouldn't you
grab them? Maybe they'll help you at some point.
- composite images
|The Red Lion