Night Shift. (computer game) (evaluation)
by Steve Hudson
Remember the old ladder games? I do. I spent hours with Loderunner and Donkey Kong, jostling little 8-bit, 3-MHz heroes from one screen to the next. But that was yesterday. Today's ladder-oriented diversion runs at 8 MHz, has more bits than you can shake a joystick at, and supports VGA. The name of this dazzling diversion? Night Shift, from LucasFilm Games.
Night Shift brings the twenty-first century to confirmed ladder leapers like me with its simple premise. You're F. Fixit, employee of Industrial Might and Logic, and you work the night shift in neoenvironmentalist Glenn T. Bingham's toy factory. Specifically, you operate Bingham's Environmentally Active Solution for Toys (BEAST), a ladder-laden toy generator fashioned from recycled bicycle wheels, trash cans, and broken chairs. The product: a line of dolls with names like Baby Vader and C1.5PO. Production is the object of this game, and you and BEAST are turning 'em out as fast as you can. Alas, there is a problem. BEAT keeps breaking down. To keep it running, you must climb ladders, flip switches, tighten bolts, light burners, pedal bicycles, dodge lawyers, vacuum up lemmings, and so on. The action is accompanied by Ad Lib, Tandy, or Sound Blaster sound. Even standard, tinny PC speaker sound isn't bad. There's first-class animation and genuinely appealing screen art, plus your choice of keyboard or joystick control. It's good!
Could it be great? A save-game option would be appreciated, and the easily misplaced copy-protection wheel could be done away with altogether. But those complaints notwithstanding, Night Shift is one you'll enjoy. Just don't play it so late that you miss the day shift!