As Eric completes is task of mischief, depositing his report back in the safe and leaving half the school drunk as skunks, we eject Back to Skool and head towards our next helping in the Your Sinclair Top 100. At No.#18 is another release from the software house Ultimate Play the Game – on first glance we have a basic looking platformer, however this one has a unique twist, one that will infuriate you to the point of madness. Welcome to Underwurlde!
Crawling up from below in 1984, Underwurlde was the game that led into Knight Lore which was at No.#33 in the Your Sinclair Top 100. Here Tim and Chris Stamper have given us a platform game which requires you to lead the Sabreman out from the Underwurlde and also out of the castle. Using numerous weapons littered around the 597 screens, this and your trusty rope, your journey is going to be a long one. It is going to be especially long, due to the fact when an enemy touches you, you don’t die you just get knocked backwards. This may not sound overly tragic, but this can be soul-destroying when you’re repeatedly knocked back by various enemies in succession.
Underwurlde is a Marmite game. People love it or people hate it, there is no happy medium. The bizarre thing is that people also feel like they are kicking a kitten when they come clean about not liking it, for they have to admit to not liking an Ultimate game. Not because Chris & Tim couldn’t take a beating, but because we were brought up to love the classic games from Ultimate.
Visually Underwurlde looks like a classic Ultimate game and it sings of everything we love, however as soon as you take your first knock, then you second, then your twelfth and beyond you either a) rapidly begin to hate this game or b) appreciate its charms. I fell into the former. I can happily remove the cassette and never play this game again. I’ve played it, I’ve given it time to prove itself, I don’t like it.
I’ve moved on to greater Ultimate games and I’m having a much happier time than I did in Underwurlde.