STORY / GAMEPLAY
An evil man called Shankriya attacked your land and stole 5 magic scrolls that protected your people. These magic scrolls granted great power to Shankriya so he hid them away in a cave complex with numerous dungeons, known as "Death Trap". This complex is a great set of labyrinths swarmed by hordes of deadly minions and fatal traps (like dropping concrete slabs, spikes that pop out from the floor, dead pits with fire and more). Starting out with nothing more than your trusty knife, you have to stab your way through hordes of giant frogs, ghosts and demented Egyptian wizards. Luckily, killing some of these guys you will get a potion that will give you the ability to use magic weapons, spells and healing powers. The adventure element mostly consists of activating switches and exploring complicated mazes but the potions found are the whole game's main key so you must learn to use them wisely. The potion menu can is shown by hitting the spacebar. From there, the potion found can be used to give you a boost by casting a spell. In general, the sprites are fairly small but probably difficult to hit and at the end of each level there's a huge (5 times like the hero) boss awaiting for you! Overall Death Trap is a cool action adventure game and the strategic use of magic adds a lot and refreshes the old platform action game formula. The gameplay is sometimes unfair though (i.e. the spikes pop up from the floor giving no warning before they strike!), but it's intense and will keep you playing for a long time.
The ST version's graphics are good, and it is obvious that the developers shown a great deal of care and attention. So, the outcome is a really good Atari ST game, if we leave a few glitches aside due to its hardware limitations. The sprites are well animated while there are also some animations on the backgrounds (i.e. fire on mounted torches, pits with moving lava, spikes coming out of the floor etc) but the scrolling is pretty weak at times due to the high detail of the backgrounds and the fine animation of the sprites. This is noticeable especially when jumping or crawling. A blitter chip would be greatly appreciated on this version (found on the Amiga and the STE hardware) and would help scrolling here a lot. The gameplay area offers up to 32 colors on-screen and it's divided in two different parts: the bottom part is the information/status panel designed with up to 16 colors, while the top part is the playable area with up to 16 colors at once. Comparably, the Amiga version offers more than 50 colors on-screen!
The sound on the ST version consists of a few nice sound effects that add to the game's spooky atmosphere but unfortunately, there is no in-game music. In addition, there is a nice sampled introductory tune.