Flashback from Delphine Software (creators of Another World) was a true masterpiece of gaming. It excelled on all levels - graphics, sound, story and game play as well as being totally addictive.
The first thing you noticed when you started were the superb graphics and the way your character Conrad Hart moved. The animation was amazing when he walked ran and jumped around the screen you couldn't help but be blown away by how realistic all his movements were. The background graphics and levels were also brilliantly drawn and each level had its own unique style and theme.
Music and sound effects were also great. The game cut scenes had some great soundtracks to match the action and although the in-game wasn't a constant feature it would kick in to indicate danger lurked ahead or you were on the right track in your attempt at solving a puzzle. The background sound effects created a brilliant atmosphere with animal noises and bird chirps in the forest section as well as the mechanical doors and beeping switches.
Game play was a mix of platforming, shooting and puzzle solving. The control system was easy to get a hang of and even with a one-button joystick Conrad could pull of a wide range of moves with some good button and direction combos. The difficulty level could be set before you started - Easy, Normal and Difficult. Even on easy the game was no walkover and would take a fair bit of time to complete.
Each level had a code so you could start there and there were a few save points you could activate throughout the level - but these were saved to the memory so if you turned the game of you could only start from the beginning of the level. This made you want to try again until you completed the level and got your new code which we think was a great way to play. Add to this the compelling story and it made for an addictive gaming experience.
The story begins with a cut scene showing Conrad being pursued and crash landing in the forest. One of the first items you find is a Holocube that gives you (and Conrad) and idea of what is going on. Firing up the holocube a 'Total Recall' moment sees you telling yourself to travel to New Washington to meet Ian who will be able to help. This sets the scene for the first level and here you will get to grips with leaping onto platforms, shooting everything that moves and solving some nice puzzles.
There are 7 levels in all which are more than enough to keep you entertained and challenged. There is a great mix of game play in throughout the levels - in one you're taking on jobs to play for your trip to Earth and another you're starring in a 'Running Man' style game show! I think Delphine watched a lot or Arnie films!
As far as equipment and items you can pick up - you start with a gun, which luckily never runs out of ammo. As well as this you have a shield which allows you to take a few hits. The shield can be recharged as various stations throughout the levels. As you have only one life - the best ideas is to keep this topped up. There are are other hazards like mysterious green gases and electrified floors that if you touch you will be vapourised instantly. But with some well-timed jumps these can be easily avoided and they add an extra layer of danger to the game play.
There are loads of other items you can pick up and all of them can be used to solve puzzles or at the very least distract the guards (throw a stone behind a guard to get him to turn round to check it out - then sneak in for the kill). You also collect credits throughout the game which will enable you to buy equipment you need to progress.
Overall this game was a must-have for any Amiga owner and received rave reviews when it was released. If you read our previous review of Another World you will know how much we rated that - well Flashback blows Another World out of the water in all respects so you can imagine how we feel about this game.
So do yourself a favour and if you have never played it, get yourself an Amiga emulator and download Flashback for the Amiga. You will be so glad you did. In fact I'm off to play it now!
Developer: Delphine Software
Year Released: 1993
Genre: Action Adventure Game
Check out the Amiga Flashback video below showing Conrad running, jumping and shooting his way through the first level: