Friday, 6 May 2011

Wicked (Amiga)

It's nice to play a unique game, that doesn't have anything else like it. Wicked is a unique game, as far as I know. Even now, 22 years after its release, there doesn't seem to be any copycats or clones.
I should probably talk about it now, then.
The intro tells the tale of some guy (that's you) who has undergone a painful ritual to become a firey star thing to battle evil. The battle against evil is mainly about the cultivation of celestial mould.
The game's a single screen shooter, and each stage has various things in it. There's you, an enemy (just one), the sun/moon and lots of gold and grey mould. The gold mould is good, the grey mould is evil, and your job is to make each stage only have good, gold stuff in it. Among the mould are big pimple-looking pod things, which are what creates the mould. These things also create seeds at random, the good seeds you have to pick up and strategically drop on the good mould to encourage it's growth, and the evil seeds will sound an alarm, and you have to go over and kill them before they make another evil pod.
Shooting the evil mould turns it red for a few seconds, which kind of "fertilises" it, making it possible for the good mould to grow over it (though of course, evil can grow over good whenever it likes). You win the stage once all the evil pods are covered by good mould.
It's not completely simple, though! There are complications! The biggest being the previously mentioned enemy that's on each stage. These enemies take the form of various "evil" things: dragons, demons, spiders, etc. and the hover about shooting stuff at you and trying to kill you.
There's also the sun/moon thing in the centre of the screen. When it's showing the moon, you can't hurt the enemy (but you can still shoot the mould, or the game would be insanely hard). They can still hurt you when the sun's out though. Killing the enemy is only temporary, but it does make things a lot easier not having them around for a while.
Sometimes the face in the centre will open up, revealing a tarot card and releasing an orb. Collecting the orb has a different effect depending on the card shown. Some are helpful, others not. I won't list all of them, but make sure you never ever collect the moon or tower orbs, or they'll make things a lot more difficult for you.
The game is pretty well presented, having a generic occult/pagan/new agey theme, and the title screen music is very atmospheric, though it's a shame there isn't any music in-game. The stage selection screens are especially nice to look at.
I used to have this game when I was a kid and owner of an actual amiga. I liked it back then, and I still do now. It's unique, atmospheric and fun. Go and play it.

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