Bath Time / Personal Software Services 1984
Screenshots: play/stop

As the name suggests, there is aquatic activity involved in this game and this is the main focal point – albeit without any bubbles!

You cannot fail to feel your heart lifted by the cute, bright blue opening screen that includes a white elephant, a pair of swans, fish and a random little redhead. It will certainly give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. However, do not let this cute, simplistic design fool you. This is a game that requires a certain amount of skill and patience from the user.

The game world consists of a single pane view which is a large pool split over two levels, with walkways either side. The inner and outer walls of the pool feature six valves. You play one of two water-sprites. Player one is on the lower section of the screen and player two on the upper section. You are either attacking or defending the animals.

Once the game starts, you must move your sprite either left or right, opening or closing the valves in order to raise or lower the water level. The player's character will open valves in the direction it is facing and shows a hand-movement to indicate this action when the fire button is pressed at the relevant point. The goal of the game is to allow or stop the water from enveloping the pool by using the valves accordingly. As the instructional menu explains, player one's task is to defend the animals, and player two's task is to attack.

Bath Time is a multiplayer and provides the user with a menu in which to select the number of players. Two is the maximum number, and during the one player game, the computer controls the other sprite. It also allows the player to select a skill level and a water speed.

Audio consists of a mixture of classical and melodic synth, and really suits the game. It is however, a little repetitive. Game visuals are largely soft, pastel-coloured and inoffensive. Nothing is over complicated visually, which helps the player to concentrate on the task in hand.

Bath Time is not terribly intellectually challenging, although it is fun and entertaining none the less. It is perfect for the casual gamer, and doesn't need to be any more complicated than it is. This game is certainly worth a try!

Don't forget your rubber duck...

Reviewed by Emily Mack.

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