It is billed as the first comic book that is alive. Accolade’s Comics is about the adventures of Steve Keene: Private Spy. It is, in essence, an easy, multi-choice adventure that is interspersed with eight basic arcade-style games which appear at the right time during the gameplay such as Climber, Swimmer, Robots, Building, Jetpack, Conveyor Belt, Rail Car and Bomber. The arcade sequences can be played in a practice mode or as a game in a single session.
American software firm Accolade is a relatively recent entry into the UK software market, however in the span of 18 months they’ve made a name for themselves with an array of high-quality releases like Hardball, Psi-5 Trading, Law Of The West, and most recently, they released the highly entertaining police game Killed Until Dead. Accolade’s Comics is licensed by Distinctive Software, and although Comics is available for both the Commodore 64 and the Apple II, US Gold have no plans to introduce their Apple II version into the UK.
Looking at the adventure from the top set Steve Keene on one of the various cases. Each comic frame appears on the screen one by one. The viewer must make easy decisions every now and then using the keyboard or joystick. Sometimes, a bubble of speech with a variety of options appears in front of Steve while the joystick must be turned on to choose which of them is selected before the story continues to unfold. Sometimes, the question of another character has been selected or a path to take chosen. Each choice affects the flow and ultimately, the final outcome of the tale.
The amount of interaction is minimal, and while the stories are enjoyable and enjoyable reading (first time, at the very least) it is great to have had the chance to get more involved in the events. What’s in the most recent frame that is loaded is typically animated, and facial expressions alter, arms move or feet tap and so on. However, once you press the button to fire hit, the next frame is loaded and the animation stops.
Steve can live five times. He’s lost one of them if you make a mistake that is fatal when you influence the story or more typically the hero will lose lives each time you make a mistake in an arcade game.
Accolade’s comics are elegantly packaged and presented and have a fantastic opening sequence, which includes stunning animated credits. Interesting touches, like the flipping of pages and the various ways to build the new frame when it loads, bring variety. There are plenty of comic-style stories to read through and that’s why this package comes with three disks that have the sides on each disc utilized.
Although it’s an original and original concept, it doesn’t provide enough gameplay to justify the high price tag. It’s understandably expensive due to what’s in the product and the sluggish potential for sales in the cassette-oriented UK. There’s too much time waiting, and there’s just not enough thought or action required to keep your attention for a long time. It’s a self-indulgent purchase, but it’s justified in the event that you are able to indulge yourself in something different from the norm.
My score on this particular game was 2.5 out of five. It’s a great old-fashioned game you should play, and play.