Komoda & Amiga plus
Commodore computers users’ magazine

Alter Ego

This article was published in issue 1 of Komoda & Amiga Plus.

The Game Alter Ego is the result of the work of a small, currently one-person Retrosouls studio. This studio comes from Russia and is created by Denis Grachev. He has created a couple of projects, but this one is the first on C64. The Alter Ego game first appeared on Pc, ZX Spectrum, Nes (2011), and now the version for C64 appeared. This is a logical arcade game that will not only make your gray matter burn, but will also not let your hands keeping the joystick be bored.
The game doesn’t really have a plot (at least I didn’t see it there), that’s why I will describe what the premises of the game are. Even though we can see two persons on the screen that are controlled by the player, we really control only one person. The second one (the one which flashes which we cannot see on the screens) is the titular alter ego of our protagonist, which moves constantly on the basis of mirror reflection. The target of the game is gathering of the scattered on the every level here and there squares, which will be possible only thanks to the right planning of route of passing through the given level.

It is not as simple as we can think at the beginning because not the whole screen is available for our main protagonist. For example, the skulls serve as obstacle and are hunting for the player, ponds, gaps in the platforms or them being placed too high or the bridges falling down after the first passing are also the hurdles. To reach some of the squares, it will be necessary to use on the “FIRE” key the switch ( I don’t know how to better call it) of the character, which will cause an immediate change of places. However we must reach these squares first with our “twin”, which is easy because he penetrates the obstacles and flies in the air, just like a ghost. It may sound good, but the whole problem (and the main cause of overheating of our brain) that the number of switches of characters is on every level strictly limited.

Another novelty is that during the game the switch of the characters on some levels happens not horizontally but vertically. On the other levels besides the standard, coloured squares also white squares appear which can be gathered only by our blinking alter ego.
Generally, the number of levels is 26 and to reach the very end, you have to show a significant shrewdness. About the audiovisual setting we cannot talk too much, because everything that this game has graphically to offer, we can see on the attached screenshots (not really great, but nice and neat). The sounds on the other hand are simple, single sounds (it is a pity that there is no music during the game).
Generally speaking, I recommend Alter Ego to everyone who likes to think when playing the computer games. The game is really good and let’s hope that’s not the last project on C64 from the Retrosouls (on ZX Spectrum Alter Ego: Dreamwalker appeared, so we can hope that the sequel appears soon on C64). To persons wanting to learn assembler, the source code of the game was added to the game.

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