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Game info

Death Trap

Death Trap
GenreAction Adventure
DeveloperAnco Software
PublisherAnco Software
Reviewed byndial
Death Trap is a fairly addictive and well presented action adventure that combines adventure and arcade elements. The game was released by Anco for the 16bit Commodore Amiga and the Atari ST home computers.
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 Amiga version's graphics are look great and it is obvious that a great deal of care and attention has been taken over them. The sprites are well animated while the backgrounds have some animations too (i.e. fire on mounted torches, pits with moving lava, spikes coming from the floor etc). The game's scrolling is smooth, without any glitches and the backdrops are colorful and pretty much detailed. The Amiga OCS version offers more than 50 colors on-screen and the screen is divided in two parts: the bottom part is the information/status panel which is designed with up to 32 colors, while the top part is the playable area with up to 32 colors at once here (as expected, that's twice the colors of the ST counterpart). Comparably, the ST and Amiga look equally good (in terms of visuals) but the main difference between is the Amiga's flawless framerate (Blitter anyone?)

The Amiga's sound here is just basic since is not quite close to the Amiga's standards (except of the introductory music). The Amiga version offers a few nice sampled sound effects that add to the game's spooky atmosphere but there is no in-game music at all, which is rather awkward for an Amiga!
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Comparable platforms

27 colors
Atari ST

49 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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