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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: Review - Flashback

Review - Flashback

Posted by Rob Gibson on 00:00, 30/10/2000 | , ,

Platform adventure from US Gold. Reviewed by Rob Gibson.

Note: This review was originally written for the Illusions disc magazine well before Acorn Arcade was born, so we make no guarantees that this game will work on more recent machines. Many thanks to Richard Goodwin, Phil Coleman and Rob Gibson for allowing us to reproduce this review on the site.

What can you say about Flashback? It really has to be seen to be believed. Anyone who went to the last Spring show in Harrogate would probably have already done so, as it was one of the major attractions of the Acorn stand, bettered only by the Risc PC on the other side.

Shot At
Somebody out there doesn't like Conrad


The first thing you notice about Flashback is the brilliant animation of the main character, Conrad. This is due to a process called rotascoping, where you take video footage and draw over it. So, Conrad walks with a swagger, runs, skids to a halt, wobbles on the edge of a drop, leaps on to ledges and hauls himself up, pulls a gun out of his jacket, somersaults, bounces off solid objects etc. and it's all done in the most cool way imaginable. You could almost imagine that it's real, with less of the willing suspension of disbelief that you have to employ with most games. It's especially cool when he pulls out his gun, standing in a two-handed firing stance like something out of the movies, then when you want him to walk he pulls the gun close to him and inches forward. Press down and he crouches, gun held up near his face. Gunshots that don't hit anything with cause sparks and a small puff of smoke to appear on the scenery at the opposite end of the screen.

Conrad blowing away some mutant - but remember kiddies, playing with guns isn't cool.


Oh yeah, the actual game. Well, it's a sort of platform game with plenty of puzzles to solve, with a fair sprinkling of gunfighting thrown in for good measure. The emphasis is more on thinking than action, which is shown by the fact that there's no scrolling involved - the locations are based on a 'room' system, with some kind of hardship (or hardships) to negotiate in each of the 'rooms', although to start with you are deep in a jungle. So, unlike some platform games where you wander around for ages with very little to do, you have to be ready all the time here. There's hardly time to admire the view, which would be a shame as the scenery is as well drawn as the main character - all of the scenes have a lot of background detail, which I suppose is one advantage of having a non-scrolling system. Also included are various animations when you pick up certain items or do certain important tasks, which are done in a sort of cinemascope format using vector graphics; these include a large intro sequence showing a thrilling chase scene. There's also some atmospheric music included, some of which will start up whenever you're about to walk into danger.

Oh dear. Guess I shouldn't have stepped on that.



Quite frankly one of the best games I've seen on any platform.

  Review - Flashback
  (12:05 27/10/2001)
  mak (06:18 13/11/2001)
    Conrad (10:10 7/12/2001)
      Carl John Cogswell (19:33 29/5/2002)
        Shaun (15:20 3/8/2002)
          Sephiroth (17:52 28/8/2002)
            Sephiroth (17:58 28/8/2002)
              stannie (16:13 20/10/2002)
                Sephiroth (17:54 16/11/2002)
                  Orion (22:11 2/12/2002)
                    Tim Bauske (21:36 24/4/2003)
                      filecore (22:47 5/2/2004)
                        Hian (15:06 16/6/2005)
                          Fresh (13:51 1/10/2005)
Tim Bauske Message #87908, posted at 12:05, 27/10/2001
Unregistered user this is the best game of the world
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
mak Message #87909, posted at 06:18, 13/11/2001, in reply to message #87908
Unregistered user tank you!!!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Conrad Message #87910, posted at 10:10, 7/12/2001, in reply to message #87909
Unregistered user Help! I'm playing this game over and over, because these aliens have me hooked on their dream-machine... I feel like David Icke
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Carl John Cogswell Message #87911, posted at 19:33, 29/5/2002, in reply to message #87910
Unregistered user The best game ever! Ten out of five star!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Shaun Message #87912, posted at 15:20, 3/8/2002, in reply to message #87911
Unregistered user Well done for recognising this as one of the classic games of our time. It was well ahead of it's time. a masterpiece.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Karl Message #87913, posted by Sephiroth at 17:52, 28/8/2002, in reply to message #87912
Posts: 1
dis game rocks! where da hell can I get a copy? Somebody E-mail me and sell me a copy unless acorn arcade don't have one!!!!!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Karl Message #87914, posted by Sephiroth at 17:58, 28/8/2002, in reply to message #87913
Posts: 1
give me a copy of flashback dammit!!!!!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
stannie Message #87915, posted at 16:13, 20/10/2002, in reply to message #87914
Unregistered user Does anyone know where I can download this game onto my PC?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Karl Message #87916, posted by Sephiroth at 17:54, 16/11/2002, in reply to message #87915
Posts: 1
Does anybody know any cheats? How do you get it to work an a RiskPC700? Oh yeah, top game, got it from Acorn (risc), show 2nd November for £2 on the charity stall!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Orion Message #87917, posted at 22:11, 2/12/2002, in reply to message #87916
Unregistered user Can any one tell me were I can get the game. ihave been searching for ages.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Tim Bauske Message #87918, posted at 21:36, 24/4/2003, in reply to message #87917
Unregistered user IM BACK!!!!!!!!!!!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Jason Togneri Message #87919, posted by filecore at 22:47, 5/2/2004, in reply to message #87918

Posts: 3867
David who?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Hian Message #87920, posted at 15:06, 16/6/2005, in reply to message #87919
Unregistered user I love this game.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Fresh Message #87921, posted at 13:51, 1/10/2005, in reply to message #87920
Unregistered user Ahh man, after years of searching.... I used to have this game on my Amiga 600, i've wanted to play it ever since. are there no shareware downloads of it or anything? Where can I get it?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]

Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: Review - Flashback