|Classification:||Game / Platformer|
|Developer:||Georg Rottensteiner / Trevor Storey|
|Disk:||Soulless at Psytronik|
Soulless is a modern-day platform adventure game for the Commodore 64, written by Georg Rottenstein and Trevor Storey, and released by Psytronik in 2012.
In this game, your goal is to gather the fragments of your human soul, which was stolen by the evil wizard, Kalen, and regain control of your kingly throne.
It is a side scrolling, multi-screen platform game, with a very large game map to explore. You must navigate your way through the screens and their particular challenges, while examining artifacts (Impossible Mission style) for 12 elusive Spirit Stones. Once you find the Spirit Stones, you have to get them to the Soul Chamber and place them in the correct order to claim your soul. In order to help you with the placement of the Spirit Stones, there are clues scattered throughout the different rooms.
At the beginning of the game, you are presented with a brief, animated back-story to help set the scene. You can easily skip this segment, if you wish, by pressing the fire button. I thought it was well done and a nice touch.
In this game, your character has no weapons to defend himself. All you can do is jump, so you must rely solely on your reflexes to succeed. Once in a while, you will discover a gem-stone that will help you along, like temporarily freeze the enemies on the screen, provide you with a brief period of invincibility or restore health.
You have a health meter, which will allow you to take a few damaging hits from enemies. But, if you’re hit too often, you are sent back to the last save point; which are placed every so often along the way. These save points also restore health.
The environment is beautifully designed, with lots of detail and colour. Characters are skillfully animated and the game-play is smooth. The in-game music is nicely composed and brings everything together. It's the same music throughout the game, but the tune is subtle enough and long enough that it doesn't get annoying.
Overall, I think Soulless has some real production value and has been created with great care, with lots of replay value. I only have two gripes with the game. My first gripe is with the jumping. It is very (and I mean very) precise. There is relatively no “air time” to it, so if you are a fraction of a second off with your timing, you’re likely to take damage.
My second gripe is that there’s no continue or save function. In order to make it to the end of the game, you have to do it in one gaming session. I would have liked to have seen either a save function or some kind of coding system, so I could stop playing and later pick up where I left off.
Aside from these two points, I think the game is fantastic and an instant classic in the platformer genre.