What a load of rubbish!

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 October, 1996, 12:00am

Bad Mojo For PCs CD-ROMS If there ever was a filthy computer game, then Bad Mojo is it.

Not only does it have scuttling cockroaches, it also has dirty tenement buildings, basements and grotty kitchens.

Your game starts in an old brick building in San Francisco, above Eddie's Bar, once a popular tavern. The apartment upstairs is occupied by Roger Sams, an insect expert who is conducting some mysterious research into cockroaches.

While planning to abscond with a great deal of money that he has acquired dishonestly, Sams is somehow himself transformed into a cockroach.

At this point, you take over as the insect and have to help Sams find his way back home to discover his true identity.

To do that, however, you will have to explore, discover and observe everything and everyone in Eddie's Bar and pick up hints to help you solve puzzles.

This would have been difficult enough had you been human but - reduced to being a common cockroach - you will realise that the ground you have to cover is wide.

Sometimes it feels as if it is going to take forever.

Eddie's Bar is not exactly a five-star hotel. In fact, it rates on the opposite end of the scale.

Not one for hygiene, Eddie leaves his griddle uncleaned, with grease spots making life hell for a hapless little cockroach.

So not only do you have to solve puzzles, you also have to find your way around the dirt and litter. Luckily some of this rubbish - such as cigarette butts and matchsticks - can come in useful when you need a 'bridge' of sorts.

Bad Mojo, to say the least, is a rather imaginative game. It is not often that you see life through compound eyes, much less those of a cockroach. Indeed, why would you want to? The three-dimensional realism of the filth is enough to make your stomach turn.

Be warned that this game is not for squeamish stomachs and young children.

With a protagonist this size, scuttling about in dark basements and along rusty pipes can be a real pain in the thorax and tedious beyond words.

Granted the graphics are excellent and the ambient soundtrack does add to the atmospheric feel of the game, but somehow it all fails to metamorphose into a game that is fun and enjoyable.

If dirt and decay are your cup of tea, then Bad Mojo requires a 486/66Mhz processor, 8MB RAM, 20MB hard disk, double-speed CD-ROM and SVGA graphics in 256 colours.

Megahint: Sometimes gently nudging certain objects can help you get where you want. Discarded items are not necessarily useless.

Megahint: Doors may be all right for human beings to get through, but a cockroach should find a crack or opening that fits if he wants to get around fast.