STORY / GAMEPLAY
The game offers five levels of dungeon in which the evil Shankriya has hidden 5 stolen magic scrolls, which left your land defendless. While the scrolls were still in his possession he was unbeatable, and it was for this a reason that he stored them away in his dungeons, known as the Death Trap. His dungeon is a great set of labyrinths filled with hordes of deadly minions, and fatal traps (dropping concrete slabs, spikes that pop out from the floor, pits with fire etc). Starting out with nothing more than a trusty knife, you have to stab your way through hordes of giant frogs, bed-sheet ghosts and demented Egyptian wizards. Luckily, killing some of these boys earns you a portion of potion, which will give you the ability to use magical weapons, spells and healing powers.
The adventure element mostly consists of activating switches and exploring complicated mazes. But, the potions found are the key to the whole game and you must learn to distribute them wisely. The potion menu can used by hitting the [spacebar] in which, the potion found can be used to give you a boost by casting a spell.
In general, the sprites are designed to be fairly small and probably difficult to hit. Of course at the end of each level is a huge boss awaiting for you! An I mean, HUGE (about 5 times than you...)!
Death Trap is a nice action adventure, and the strategic use of magic adds tension and refreshes an old game formula. Gameplay is sometimes unfair (i.e. spikes shoot up from the floor giving no warning before they strike!), but its intensive and will keep you playing for a long time.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The graphics are fine, and it is obvious that a great deal of care and attention has been taken over them. The Atari ST version is no exception here, apart of a few glitches due to its hardware limitations.
The sprites are well animated while the backgrounds are partly animated (i.e. fire on mounted torches, pits with moving lava, spikes coming from the floor etc). But scrolling is weak at times here, due to the high detail of the backdrops and the fine animation of the sprites. This noticeable especially when jumping or crawling. A Blitter chip would be greatly appreciated here (found in the Amiga and the STE hardware), which would help scrolling here a lot.
The game area here offers up to 32 colors on screen. It is divided in two parts: the bottom part is the information/status panel which is designed using up to 16 colors, while the top part is the playable area which offers up to 16 colors at once here, and offering a total of 32 colors on screen. Note that the Amiga version offers more than 50 colors in total! all shots below are from level 1
Sound here is acceptable, offering a few nice SFX that add to the spooky atmosphere. Unfortunately, as in the Amiga version, there is no music during gameplay here. But there is an introductory tune (which is a low-quality sample).