War of the Worlds (GTW64 highlight)

A highlighted review from the http://www.gtw64.co.uk archives

The idea of making a computer game for The War of the Worlds seems obvious, aliens come to Earth and attack everything and everyone and a hero who is just trying to survive while Earths governments try to beat off the aliens (ooh er!), and several attempts have been made throughout the years. However, making a game based on Jeff Waynes The War of the Worlds struck me as a little odd. I dont know if theres ever been a computer conversion made of what is essentially a double album musical, even if it is based on a best selling sci-fi novel.The game was produced by CRL in association with ORP and judging from the advert it was slated for release on a slew of platforms, but only seems to have made it out on the ZX Spectrum. Why this is is a complete mystery as CRL released dozens of games on both the Spectrum and C64 platform, admittedly a fair amount of them suffering bad reviews at the time, but a quick scroll through the archive list on World of Spectrum shows just as many with very high ratings.

The game itself is described as an arcade adventure game, and seems to mix the graphical text adventure format with basic arcade features. The spectrum version reminded every reviewer at Crash magazine of the game Valhalla. To complete the game you have to visit several places in the correct order, to find the Martian base. According to Crash, knowing the album helps you figure it out as they are in the same order as the hero visits them on the record, but according to Sinclair User you cant complete the game without knowing the album.

The year before the game was due to be released there were two The War of The Worlds games released, but both were for the Spectrum 16k, so youd think that if any it would have been the Spectrum version that would be pulled, not the C64 version. Perhaps the most obvious reason why the game was pulled on other formats was that frankly the reviews were poor with both Crash and Sinclair User giving it low scores. With so many titles being released constantly at CRL, maybe they just pulled the game to concentrate on more eagerly awaited titles.

CRL was formed by Clement Chambers who had gained fame in the early days of home computing for being something of a whiz kid. Now he is managing director of ADVFN, an investors website that claims to be one of the true dot com success stories. Perhaps the answer to the non-release of The War of the Worlds lies with Clement or the game programmer Nigel Taylor.

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