Switchblade is an action platform game initially released by Gremlin in 1989 for the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST and in 1990 for the 8bit ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC. The game was later ported in 1991 to the Amstrad CPC+ and Amstrad GX4000.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The cyber world of Thraxx is about to enter a new era of darkness and despair. Havok, a dark lord of nightmares, having slept for 10.000 years has finally awoken. The Fireblade has been broken and it's sixteen pieces were scattered through the underworld where Havok now reigns. The slaughter has begun and all of the Blade Knights (hi-tech warriors of Traxx) are dead, except of one. The game is a combination between an action shooter and a platform game (typically a platform-shooter) in which the level areas become visible as you progress and scroll in flip-screen mode. You control Hiro (the only Blade Knight that survived) through six levels and must re-assemble the 16 fragments of the shattered Fireblade. Only then Hiro will be able to take on Havok and avenge his friends' death. There are several enemies on your way who must be taken out by using your fists or kicks but also with firearms, found later. As you progress, you will find bonus weapons and secret rooms.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The GX4000 and CPC+ have really good graphics with detailed backgrounds (especially on the indoor areas) and nicely drawn sprites (although small) with smooth animation! Note that on the Amstrad CPC+ version, although the game runs in Mode 1 (that uses by default up to 4 colors on screen), new graphics routines utilizing the its enhanced graphics hardware and its 4096-colors palette support raster effects, thus more colors on the screen in comparison to its counterparts (check the colorful shadings at the background sky). The game's sound is equally good, featuring an introductory theme and an interesting in-game tune, but no sound effects at all.