Perspective: Side view
Visual: 2D scrolling
Gameplay: Arcade, Shooter
Setting: Sci-fi / futuristic
Published by: Funsoft GmbH
Developed by: Factor 5 GmbH
The myth that in the 80s there was a dominance of platform shooters (that is, games of the "run-and-gun" genre) is completely dispelled if you try to remember at least a dozen such games of that time. In fact, there weren't as many of them as platformers with melee or no combat at all. Probably, the reason for this should be sought in the severe limitation of the technical capabilities of computers and set-top boxes of the 80s, when the number of moving sprites on the screen could not be too large. Therefore, even in 1990, when the Turrican 1 was released on the Commodore 64, it had few competitors. Contra, Thexder, Bionic Commando, Metroid and, perhaps, everything. Therefore, it is not surprising how much popularity Turrican gained, because even against the backdrop of these excellent games, the creation of Manfred Trenz looked simply amazing! Manfred at that time was already quite famous as the creator of shoot'em ups and regular platformers (he created, in particular, a Mario clone on the Amiga and C64 - Great Giana Sisters), and by crossing these genres in Turrican, he reached the pinnacle of his skill in making games.
Why is Turrican so captivating? On the example of the only second part ported to PC, which was released as much as 4 years after the Amiga version, you can appreciate everything that delighted gamers of the early 90s on other platforms: amazing, memorable, truly Amiga music, colorful graphics with a large number of effects and a smooth background gradient, a variety of attacking actions - in general, the technical execution of the game is almost perfect.
In the game plan, everything is pretty standard here - you need to run, jump and, of course, shoot. However, there are two more alternative attacks that can be very useful - turning into a rolling star - with this ability you can get into narrow passages - and a laser wall attack. A standard attack can also be of several types, in order to change it, you need to catch a certain bonus - an attack with balls reflected from the walls, a direct fireball and a fan attack. In addition, you can hold down the fire key and shoot around you, but you cannot move. Enemies are also quite diverse, although they are all mechanical living creatures - all sorts of iron flies, snakes, fish, robots jumping and creeping along the ground, but each with its own characteristics, and therefore you will not be bored.
The game is quite difficult, even the first level is not easy to pass, and at the beginning of the second it is generally very easy to lose all your lives, however, with sufficient skill, you can go far enough. And yet, this game is not about passing, but about getting pleasure from the gameplay itself: even one first level can be played over and over again, finding different bonuses and exploring every corner of the level (unfortunately, the game has a time limit, so it’s too this cannot be done).
Summing up, we can say that we have a classic of the genre and a rather rare representative of it on the PC, so everyone who misses the old shooters is recommended to play! For those who have gone through Turricans far and wide, I recommend looking at a huge number of remakes of this game.