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Alive 14
Nuclear Waste Dump
by Paradize
        Nuclear Waste Dump (NWD) is the first of the three Atari games 
        by the highly prolific Paradize team to be reviewed in this 
        issue of RGCD, and it has to be said that it's one of their best 
        productions yet.  Written for the 1MB Atari STFM/STE (or 
        Falcon), NWD is a high quality arcade-puzzler based on a game 
        for the Atari 8-Bit range of computers listed originally as a 
        Basic type-in program in Antic magazine (back in 1986).

        The premise of the game is simple - you have to stack barrels of
        nuclear waste in a pit whilst avoiding placing waste of the same
        type adjacent to or on top of each other.  The barrels are
        randomly selected (from a choice of four) and given to the
        player, who then has a strict time limit in which to place the
        waste in a safe place.  If you accidentally let two barrels of
        the same type sit next to each other then - !BOOM! - nuclear
        meltdown ensues and it's game over.

        As well as giving the game a much needed update, Paradize have 
        also added some new game-play elements; in their version of NWD 
        there are three new types of barrel added to the mix to assist 
        you with your waste dumping duties.  There are special Freezer 
        barrels (yellow) that when dropped will neutralise adjacent 
        barrels (making them safe to stack on or next to), as well as 
        potentially lethal TNT barrels (red) that can be placed 
        anywhere, but detonate when another barrel is dropped on it. 
        When detonated, the TNT barrels destroy all the waste barrels 
        surrounding them, and any waste stacked above will fall down to 
        the barrels at the bottom of the pit, potentially causing the 
        whole dump to explode - so as in real life, it's best to be 
        careful when handling TNT. Finally, the last type of special 
        barrel is the 'Weight' (grey with no symbol), a heavy barrel 
        that crushes anything it lands on (right down to the pit's 
        surface), making it a very useful tool for removing tall stacks 
        of waste.

        In essence NWD is quite simple, but difficult to master.  The
        time limit given to the player (in which to place barrels
        safely) soon becomes very short and it's easy to make mistakes.
        However, the game is always fair, resulting in player
        frustration being short-lived and the gameplay itself becomes
        quite addictive.

        Onto the more technical aspects of the game, the graphics are 
        well presented (albeit a little grey for my taste) and the in-
        game chip music and sound effects are spot on.  The game 
        supports the use of keyboard, joystick and Jagpad (emulated or 
        otherwise), and instructions are given in-game (accessed by 
        pressing 'i' from the intro screen) clearly illustrating the 
        different types of waste and special barrel.

        Paradize get top marks for *still* supporting the Atari ST(E)
        platform, and if NWD was released back in the early 90's it
        would have made a real impact on the PD and shareware scene.  It
        doesn't push the capabilities of the machine, but it is a well-
        presented, balanced, and most importantly -fun- release.  NWD is
        not quite as good as last year's 'Pooz' (Paradize's awesome Zoop
        clone), but it's one of the team's strongest releases so far.

        Graphics       80
        Sound          87
        Game Concept   80
        Gameplay       86
        Lasting Appeal 82

        Overall        83

                                                J. Monkman for Alive, 2006-12-20
Alive 14