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Toadman 2: Space Shock
(Delta Code)


"See Toads. See Toads Fry!"

Inherent with hate and armed only with the latest of weaponry, the toadman have developed only one purpose in life; to find other toadmen and destroy each other!

Travel through various wintry and technologically advanced domains, while grabbing valuable powerups that replenish health and add to your weapons supply. Can you charge your toadman and locate the enemy toadman before you're stir-fried? Find out as you play against the CPU or against a friend in split-screen mode!

Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
For people who have the Toadman series, Toadman 2 is an improvement over the last installment. The graphic tiles used in the game are more detailed and colorful, and the color scheme overall is pleasing to the eyes. It's also interesting in split-screen mode, since there are times when you can see yourself in your opponent's side of the screen.

On the downside, Toadman 2's action takes place in a dark black backdrop. It would have been neat to see a little more detail in this department. Another benefit would have been a few more things animated in the game. The toadmen themselves are well-drawn, but some other objects that stand in their way in the terrain would have added depth to graphics as well as gameplay.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
N/A Shoot your bazooka and ribbit all you like, but Toadman 2 does not feature any sound or music. It would have been neat though; Toadman 2 in particular looks like one of those games that would have greatly benefitted by a share of high quality sound effects and Sound Blaster music.
Gameplay (n.)The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe vvv
Toadman 2 is a Doom/Quake-style shooter game set on a topview mode, designed for one-on-one missions. The game screen is split in half for each player, and at that point it becomes each player's mission to find needed power-ups, locate secret passages, and eventually shoot the daylights out of each other.

Because the laser weapon is the most effective weapon in the game, it may seem like a straightforward catch and shoot match. But sooner or later you're going to find out that sometimes it takes a little hide and seek to win frequently. Cleverly placed life power-ups and hidden weapons like land mines throughout the game's eleven levels, help to add to the gameplay.

Perhaps the neatest feature of Toadman 2 is the level creator. You have to be an experienced QB programmer to really tap into all the options available of the level builder, but if you can make your own levels with it, you'll get more out of the game since you can make levels that are as fair or unfair as you want it.

All the options don't come without it's share of problems though. The customizablity of Toadman 2 is high, but the game lacks option menus that make it easy to make changes to the game. In fact, you have to read the text file that accompanies Toadman 2 to untap options like one or two player support, then go into the program using QuickBasic and changing some of the code yourself. In the long run, this gets very tedious.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
You have to give to point to Joseph King for coming up with a pretty original story. Basically you have a couple of toads who have gone postal and have a huge battlefield chock full of weapons and things to blow up to play in. I've certainly heard nothing like this plot before; I just wish that Joe elaborated on it somewhat through some demos or through some other form of in-game communicaiton.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
While there are plenty of levels to choose from, it's pretty easy to figure out when you're outgunning or are being outclassed by the computer or human opponent. If there's any replay value, it's from practicing each of the game's various levels and weapons in an effort to be more precise with your attacks.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
The challenge of Toadman 2 is best enjoyed in two-player mode, since the one-player mode's AI can be too weak or too quick depending on how well you set the manual speed settings. Because there are eleven levels to choose from, it's interesting to see just how you have to react according to your location and terrain. Knowing your level well is key to success. If you know where all the life bonuses and ammunition carts are, you'll be able to get to them quickly and have a jump on either a computer-controlled CPU or human opponent.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
My only real complaint about Toadman 2 (which unfortunately is a big problem in terms of fun factor) is setting it up so that the game works perfectly on the computer. Having to go into the program itself to change the settings can be a real hassle, especially for QB gamers who haven't programmed before. The instructions provided in the readme file help somewhat, but this is no substitute to having in-game menus. After all, part of enjoying the game is making sure that changing the game's settings doesn't get in the way of enjoying the gameplay.

This problem is most obvious while trying to adjust the game's speed. Since the author of this game did not give a guide to how the fast the game is supposed to be, so there's no way to guess how fast the computer opponent should be or how long the author intended the mines to stay put until they explode. And since the speed of an arcade game is one way to change it's difficulty level, this causes all sorts of problems in determining how Joe King wanted Toadman 2 to play like.

With all that said, Toadman 2's greatest strength is it's two-player mode (which is great because that's the default setting for Toadman 2). The speed of the game isn't much of an issue because you and your buddy will always move at a normal pace. And since the game does come with plenty of courses, there is an opportunity to play a lot of deep games. You have to be a fan of the shooter genre to really enjoy this game, though, as it requires a bit of patience (and some programming skill) to enjoy all of its features.

Toadman 2 Reviewed by Vance Velez

Players 1-2 players
Genre: Arcade/Shooter Game
Rating To solve: N/A Final Rating: 9/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tips
wTo run this game, you must have any version of Microsoft QuickBasic.
wPlease read the file "TOADMAN2.TXT" for information on how to get Toadman 2 to run properly on your computer.
wOnce Toadman 2: Space Shock is unzipped, run "MINIRPG3.BAS" from QuickBasic.

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