Frenzy (1984 video game)

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Frenzy
Frenzy (Micro Power) cassette front cover (Acorn Electron).png
Acorn Electron cassette cover
Publisher(s) Micro Power
Platform(s) Acorn Electron
BBC Micro
Commodore 64
Release 1984 (BBC Micro, Acorn Electron), 1985 (Commodore 64)
Genre(s) Arcade, Qix clone
Mode(s) Single-player

Frenzy is an 8-bit computer game published in the UK by Micro Power in 1984. [1] It is a version of the arcade game Qix.[2] The game was released for the Acorn Electron[3] and BBC Micro[4] in 1984 and for the Commodore 64[5] in 1985.

Description[edit]

In-game screenshot (BBC Micro)

Although the gameplay is similar to Qix, the backstory for Frenzy involves the player controlling a robot craft, attempting to capture deadly sub-atomic Leptons from inside a scientific research centre.[1]

In Frenzy, a Lepton is captured if it is trapped in an area enclosed by the player's robot craft or if 95% of the screen area has been filled. The robot craft has two speeds and the score for filling in an area using only the slower speed is subject to a 2x multiplier. Chasers appear in higher levels which can collide with the player's robot craft, causing a life to be lost. The number of Leptons and Chasers increase as the levels progress, up to a maximum of five of each on the most difficult screens—except for Levels 12 and 14, which have a smaller number of Leptons (and no Chasers) but the Leptons move much faster. The player obtains an extra craft on completing the third, sixth and ninth screens.[1] It has been found[6] that after level 14, the last two screens repeat indefinitely.

It is stated in the instructions that a good strategy is to build narrow filled blocks using the faster speed across the centre of an unfilled area, and then finally seal the area off by using only the slower mode.[1] This maximises the score while reducing the risk of using "slow mode" to a minimum. It can be seen that players of the game tend to stick to this strategy.[6] [7]

Some players[6] remark that Frenzy is not an exact Qix clone. Although the game is clearly derived from Qix, there are crucial differences. In Qix, completing a line fills in the area not containing the Qix regardless of size, whereas in Frenzy, the smaller area is always coloured, allowing Leptons to be trapped (which kills them). In Qix, filling a set percentage is the only way to complete levels; in Frenzy it is more common to complete levels by killing all the Leptons. Also, in Frenzy, the Leptons move in a regular, completely deterministic pattern, and the player's robot craft is permitted to hesitate, making Frenzy a different playing experience to Qix.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Generally, the game has received a positive response from both players and reviewers.

Frenzy was reviewed in the August 1984 edition of Acorn User (Issue 25) [8] and also in issue 2.06 of Electron User.[9] Adam Young in his review entitled "Simplicity Makes a Winner" described the game as "one of the most amusing and compulsive games on the market" and "excellent".

Oliver Robinson stated "I always enjoyed playing Frenzy by Micropower". Comparing the game to another similar game called Kix he wrote, "Although, Kix arguably had better music, Frenzy had better gameplay".[2] (The music to Kix is "Scarborough Fair" and "House of the Rising Sun"; Frenzy actually has no music at all.)

Other players have described the game as "a great family favourite",[6] a "favourite game" and "Simple, but Addictive".[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Acorn Electron cassette inlay". Frenzy. 1984. Deadly sub-atomic particles are running free in a scientific research centre 
  2. ^ a b Robinson, Oliver. "Only the Best BBC Micro Games". www.bbcmicrogames.com. Retrieved 2010-10-10. Frenzy, and Kix were both versions of an arcade game called 'Qix', which unfortunately, is hard to come by these days. 
  3. ^ "Frenzy by Micro Power from Retrogames". Retrogames. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 1984 Arcade action game. For Acorn Electron Computers. 
  4. ^ "Frenzy for BBC Micro". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-10-10. Publisher: Micro Power 
  5. ^ Lemon, Kim. "Frenzy 1985, Micro Power". www.lemon.com. Retrieved 2010-10-10. Genre: Arcade, Miscellaneous Players: 1 Only 
  6. ^ a b c d "BBC Micro game Frenzy". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-10-10. In this video I take a break from Repton and revisit another childhood memory by completing all fourteen unique levels of the game Frenzy. (It turns out that after Level 14, the last two levels repeat indefinitely.) 
  7. ^ a b c "BBC Micro game Frenzy". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-10-10. Simple, but addictive 
  8. ^ "Acorn User Archives: Issue 25 : August 1984". Acorn User. Retrieved 2010-10-10. Hopper from Acornsoft, Frenzy from Micropower. 
  9. ^ Young, Adam. "Simplicity Makes A Winner". Electron User (Issue 2.06). Retrieved 2010-10-10. A cool head, a steady hand and nerves of steel should ensure you a top score in this excellent game. 

External links[edit]