All I can say is cool, cool and totally f*cking cool. This title for the Commodore Amiga is a true classic game from the legendary Bitmap Brothers.
Released in 1993 by Renegade Software this game was a massive hit due to it's superb gameplay, fantastic soundtrack, excellent graphics, atmosphere, and polished presentation.
Then again we shouldn't have been surprised because the Bitmaps usually treated us to quality games with the likes of Gods, Speedball 2, Xenon and Xenon 2.
With six charaters to pick from (The Navvie, The Thug, The Preacher, The Gentleman, The Brigand and The Mercenary) you and a friend, or a computer assisted player had to enter the world of The Chaos Engine and restore order to the land.
The land required saving because a mad scientist (they're always mad aren't they?) back in the Victorian era had created this machine which ultimately turned against him, changing man and beast into... err beasts. Deadly creatures that had to be dispatched by you and your in game buddy.
So - the whole game was set in a very nice steampunk environment complete with pumping soundtrack and a mean sounding voice over bloke.
Making your way through each scrolling level you had to reach the exit gate (some levels had more than one exit allowing different paths through the game) by killing everything in site, opening doors and activating 'nodes'.
In true classic arcade style each character had different weapons and a special secondary firepower - and there were plenty of bonuses to collect along the way.
Keys would open secret doors, food would restore your health, certain items would launch incendiaries or fireballs, scenery would vanish or close up behind you... There was so much to surprise you in the game you were always on your toes.
There were four worlds to play through, each one tougher than the last. Every so often you could increase your players attributes such as speed, intelligence, skill and health - which you needed to do as play progressed.
To do this you would collect treasure and coins as you made your way through each level. If playing in two player mode co-operation between you and your pal was the best way to play.
To complete the game you had to make it to the end of world four and destroy The Chaos Engine itself.
This game was notable at the time due to the fantastic graphics (both on the game characters and backgrounds) which scrolled smoothly in eight directions.
The in game music and speech was fantastic (and still is even today), and this is probably the first game where the tempo of the music changed as you neared the completion of a level. This really ramped up the excitement as you played.
Even if you played with a computer controlled character they showed good intelligence and would take out nasties lurking behind you. Sometimes they did go and eat all of the food though!
All in all this is an arcade game that really showcased what the Amiga could do in the hands of talented coders. It was extremely playable, superb to look at, atmospheric and was beyond addictive.
If you like arcade games, pumping music and a challenge, then this game is for you. In fact - this game is for everyone.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download The Chaos Engine. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other Amiga game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys
GENRE: Arcade Game (Multi Scrolling Shoot em up)
RELEASE DATE: 1993
RELEASED BY: Renegade Software
DEVELOPER(S): Mike Montgomery, Steve Cargill
PRICE: £25.99 - UK
Classic Arcade Action...
Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games