Computer Graphics Memory Disk Space Minimum 386 VGA 2 MB 8.8 MB Max/Rec. 386SX/20+ Control: Mouse Sound: Adlib, Sound Blaster, Adlib Gold, Roland Reviewed on: 386/20, 5MB RAM, Sound Blaster sound card.
"I'm picking up a jamming signal, sir" "Switch to Over-ride....." "Too late!", the last words you hear from your captors before the chopper crashes. Your only chance of escape, so you make a break for it with the security forces a breath away.
You find yourself at the top of Eyre Tower in this futuristic gothic looking city, dark and forbidding like something out of Blade Runner. To escape your recapture you need to find a way to ground level in this large city. Armed with your wits and the use various computer terminals, personnel cards and other items you find along the way, you might just live. A voyage into cyberspace could help if you manage to interface with the use of a Schriebmann port. However, things aren't as hopeless as they seem since you have your trusty friend Joey to help you as well as your good looks, which don't go amiss with Anita, not just a factory employee.
The humorous text dialogue, typical of Joey's personality, makes the gameplay quite light hearted despite the surroundings. The game authors have gone to some effort in providing interesting and comical text responses to the players actions. Also the hand illustrated scenes, which have good detail, make this adventure game a pleasure to play. It was quite enjoyable to discover new parts of the city, but a few of the rooms were used with some repetition. Nevertheless, the length of the adventure was good (about 5 hours played with solution), avoiding boredom and over complexity. I only wish that some more thought was put into the music, since I found most of it a bit too light hearted and irrelevant to the theme. The sound effects were quite good though and matched the actions well.
However, there were a few difficult points. I found myself stuck at times without any obvious clues as how to progress in the game, detracting from the enjoyment somewhat. The game also has quite a few red herrings to make it that bit more challenging, so watch out. It's the kind of game that you can play in sessions and save when the going gets a bit tough.
In fact, BASS comes with a number of user selectable functions through its options screen including unlimited number of save games, adjustable music volume and selectable game speed which is a must for those who get bored walking about the screen. Revolution Software have used their VT System 2. 0 Interface, which has simplistic mouse orientated point and click usage. Due to this, only a 'look' or 'use' function is available to the user which limits the game playability somewhat. The mouse cursor also highlights objects that can be used, removing some of the tedious searching for objects which sometimes spoil a good adventure. There is a also a scroll down menu full of inventory icons, allowing items to be dragged onto the playing screen and used.
I found BASS a smooth playable game that allowed easy interactive play. The user interface was a bit too simple in comparison to games like SIMON THE SORCERER and made the game strategy somewhat simpler. Nevertheless, I found the game quite enjoyable and worth getting due to the artwork, storyline and general fun. A simple plot developed into an interesting outcome with various pieces of the puzzle revealed as the game progressed, keeping my interest. Admittedly, I was a bit disappointed with the final game scene, as it was not overly exciting compared to the start of the game. Overall, I thought that this adventure game was well presented and worth the money, but there could have been more scenes. Good luck Beneath a Steel Sky, and above all: have fun and Be Vigilant!This review is Copyright (C) 1994 by Anton Makotter for Game Bytes Magazine. All rights reserved.