Repton 2, BBC Micro

The sequel to the classic BBC digging/puzzle game, Repton, Repton 2 was again designed and coded by Tim Tyler and published by Superior Software in 1985. Unfortunately this second game in the series is not quite as good as its predecessor, in my opinion.

The first thing you’ll notice about Repton 2 – if you’ve played the first game at all – are the warp tiles. These seem to send you – not just to another part of the same level – but to a different level entirely, and this can create a fair bit of confusion as you try to navigate your way through the game. The key, then, is to know where each warp tile takes you, which is asking too much of the player in a game such as this. You not only have to remember where the traps are and how to avoid them, but you now have to remember the transporter links between eighteen different levels.

The second thing you’ll notice about Repton 2 is that you can no longer press Enter to pause the game and view a map of an entire level (in spite of what some online guides might tell you), and the only way to return to the title screen (and stop the timer) is to find and enter a special tile that takes you there. The only real key-press option available to you during the game is to commit suicide (by pressing Escape, which you have to do if you find yourself stuck, which is often).

There are a number of new features, and hazards, in Repton 2, like the aforementioned warp tiles; guardian skulls (which, if you move into, will kill you, although they can be removed somehow – I couldn’t find out how exactly, though); spirits (spark-like things that always follow a set path along a maze); cages (which require you to trap spirits inside them); meteors (that fall downward in certain areas and will kill you if they hit you); and safes (that sometimes contain diamonds and require keys to open).

The dreaded ‘eggs-that-hatch-monsters-which-hunt-you‘ return, as do the switches that turn things (like doors) into diamonds, which allow you to get past them. There’s a different in-game tune this time, but it’s short and will get on your nerves after a while (and thankfully can be turned off).

Overall, I found Repton 2 to be a frustrating experience that lacks focus. Yes, there are people out there who seem to like it (maybe even prefer it to the first game), but I’m not one of those people. In my opinion: Repton 2 is way too confusing and difficult for its own good and is not a great sequel.

See also: Repton 3.

More: Repton 2 on Wikipedia

4 thoughts on “Repton 2, BBC Micro”

  1. One of my earliest gaming memories – at least I think it was Repton 2 over the sequel, the warps in particular ring a bell. There was a computer in the corner of our classroom at primary running this, and something that looked like SimCity, but I only remember the building any none of the actual management (although it’s possible as a kid I just completely ignored it).

    Repton 2 stuck in my brain for years as one of my earliest exposures to gaming. As with anyone’s first, the levels felt interesting and vast, and the whole game was full of wonder. Realistically, I had no idea what I was doing with those warps, and just moved from screen to screen at a whim to see what happened, without any real direction or understanding.

    I doubt I got far, but as a young’un, I enjoyed the flashing colours enough to keep me glued to the screen! Hated being chased though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This sequel is so vast and difficult that it must’ve been pretty daunting to play, but then as kids I guess everything’s daunting! The third Repton is my favourite, which is coming up tomorrow. 🙂

      Like

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