If I could only keep one Amiga game, then without question, it would be the original Turrican. It is as brilliant in every aspect today as it was when it came out. Glorious graphics, perfect gameplay, oodles of originality and a soundtrack so good, Chris Hüelsbeck finally bowed to fans demands a few years ago and re-recorded the whole lot for a special release! The Turrican music is still as renowned as the game itself.
I cannot fault Turrican. Once you’ve worked out (or in my case wracked my brains until I remembered) where to go in each level, Turrican is 40 minutes or so of absolute platform pleasure. The Turrican himself is a great design – you’ve got a multi-function blaster, a decent energy level, superb jumping ability, bombs, surround lasers and the ability to transform into a gyroscope in order to whizz through levels or fit down narrow tunnels to find goodies.
Another unique thing about the game is all the hidden bonus boxes and secret rooms that you unexpectedly come across as you roam the landscapes. Extra lives are also plentiful, once you know where to look. What I always enjoyed about it was just how playable and possible it was, and it’s still a joy to complete from start to finish today (if not just for the music!).
The graphics are superb throughout, and the levels range from a rocky outpost, to aquatic underground labyrinths, skeletal mazes and finally Morgul’s tower. In between all of that, you have two flying levels, where Turrican dons a jetpack for some shoot-em-up action.
What’s most rewarding, is that once you’ve blasted off each of Morgul’s three faces, Mr. Turrican hops in his conveniently-parked ship and flies off into the sunset as the tower explodes. At the time, this felt like a proper cinematic ending – no other game came close!