"Q: What's a female Private Investigator called?
A: A Dick-less Tracy."
STE GAME REVIEW: "OBSESSION" BY UNIQUE DEVELOPMENT SWEDEN
By Michael Noyce
Just when you thought the ST software market had given up the
ghost and headed off for the greener (as in money) pastures of PC
and Console land, suddenly new games are appearing - albeit a
"Obsession" is one such game heralding from Unique Development
Sweden (UDS) from er...Sweden. Like many of the recent software
releases the base machine needed to run "Obsession" is a 1 meg
STE or above - so bad news for STFM owners - and takes advantage
of the extra hardware available on these machines. It's also one
of those nice games that likes living on a hard drive.
So what is "Obsession"? Well, quite simply it's a pinball game.
Put in slightly more technical terms it's a pinball game! Yes,
you guessed it, "Obsession" is a good old pinball game, plain and
Once the past the intro/protection screen (a challenge in itself
at first) you enter the main menu. A bit simplistic really with a
nice atmospheric tune. You select which of the four tables you
would like to play by using the arrow keys to rotate the
selection bar in the top half of the screen and press enter to
start. Alternatively you can just press the corresponding
function key to enter the table you desire.
Having escaped the clutches of Captain Notpolite's secret
dungeons and stolen his treasure map Bobby Bubble, a true
adventurer, is off to find the treasure. When he reaches the
island where the treasure is located he puts on his diving gear
and descends into the waters in search if it. It's now up to you
whether our hero finds the treasure or becomes just so much shark
My personal favourite table this, if only because I can get
absolutely massive scores, my current high score is 128,884,240.
Well, that's pretty high for me! There are loads of ways to amass
bonuses and points quickly as well as five special missions to
complete for even more points. The graphics are big, bright and
bold, depicting a comical underwater scene. The music and sound
FX are all bright and jolly with a bouncey splish-splosh feel.
Set in the middle of the next century after a devastating
nuclear war it is you, a soldier, to complete your mission. Kill
the enemies' tribal leader. Wow! Great plot, eh?
This is probably the hardest of all the tables as it seems too
easy (for me at least) to lose the ball very quickly, with
particular attention needed to judge just how much power is
needed to launch the ball. Therefore, you would expect this to
be my least favourite table. Not so! The graphics are excellent -
dark and moody with just a touch of Manga thrown in. The
soundtrack is a bassy techno tune with thunderous sound effects,
suiting the table perfectly. Again there are bonuses a plenty
with nine missions to complete this time.
Balls & Bats
Set in the sporty world of American Baseball, it is up to you to
simply ensure your team successfully wins the American League and
then the World Series.
This table is my second favourite table, though only just! The
big, bold graphics are once again excellent, but it's the sampled
speech that really grabs you. There's an almost continuous
commentary of what's happening as you bat the ball around the
table. There are two modes of play on this table; Normal and
Pitching. In Normal mode you just hit the ball around gaining
points and bonuses as normal. When you enter Pitching mode there
is a short delay and the pitcher in the center of the table
throws you either a fast ball, slow ball or curve ball. By
entering the home run passage you can get a home run or advance a
base. Light all the bases and you win the match and move onto the
This, the forth and final table, is yet another with a sporty
theme. This time set in the fast lane of a cross continental
rally form Paris to Dakar - The Desert Run.
The goal on this table is to complete each stage until the
finish is reached. To do this you must get money and buy enough
fuel to complete each stage. Not only do you have to worry about
fuel, you also have to compete against other drivers as well. The
higher you position on completing a stage the bigger the bonuses
you'll get. Sounds simple enough, but what a bitch to play!
Again, excellent graphics and sound with horns honking, engines
reeving and doors clunking shut. Add the smell of exhaust fumes
and some sand and you could be there.
Everything plays and moves around at a silky smooth 50 frames a
second with 25KHz Stereo sound. Each table is 336 by 500 pixels
in size with 32-40 colours, and it all moves around (well, up and
down, at least) smoothly using hardware scrolling.
Wow! I was truly lost for words and struggled to find the words
and adjectives needed to describe just how good a pinball game
"Obsession" really is. It simply is the best of its type on the
STE/Falcon. It makes everything before it, commercial or PD, pale
into comparison. This is a game that really pushes the STE and
takes full advantage of the extra hardware. At last we get a
taste of what can be done and jolly impressive it is too.
Each table is unique with its own character and challenges. The
graphics, though rather static, and sound are simply the best
I've ever experienced on the STE. Truely a classic. Not to be
Company: Unique Development Sweden
Value for money: 8
Manifest: 2 double-sided disks and 12 page "What goes
where? And why?" manual.
Hardware: 1 Mb STE or Falcon(*), double-sided drive or
hard disk, keyboard, colour monitor.
Comment: Gasp, drool, salivate....
Address: Merlin PD
PO Box 77
Tel/Fax. ++(44)(0)1453 882793
(*) First the bad news: This version of "Obsession" does not use
any of the extra features of the Falcon, it is merely Falcon
The good news: The actual Falcon version will feature 256 colour
graphics, 50KHz 16 bit sound and multiball. It should be out by
the time you read this.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.