Dr. Franky and the Monster, ZX Spectrum

Dr. Franky and the Monster is a 1984 platform game written by Martin Wheeler (who created the original Sorcery) and published by Virgin Games for the ZX Spectrum. It’s a cartoony, satirical take on the Frankenstein story, and – to be honest – it isn’t very good.

The aim of the game is to jump your way up a series of platforms, collecting a white flask on your way and delivering it to Frankenstein‘s Monster at the very top of the screen. Chasing you are Pac-Man-like ghosts that follow your every move, so you must outwit them with fancy moves and clever jumps through various holes in the platforms. Occasionally you’ll be able to pick up a ‘magic hammer’ which will allow you to kill the ghosts.

The graphics in Dr. Franky and the Monster are extremely flickery and very basic, and the sound is limited to a few farty spot effects. Gameplay-wise, this is about as basic as it gets, and the format of having to avoid chasing ghosts through a horizontal maze doesn’t work well at all. The game looks like it was written in BASIC and compiled into machine code and falls well below what the Spectrum is capable of. And there are only nine different screens to play through before the game cycles around again, which – considering how basic the screen layouts are – pretty much confirms to me that it was written in BASIC and compiled (which was a common occurrence in the early days of the Spectrum and was generally frowned upon in commercial game software).

In short: Dr. Franky and the Monster is a poor game and is not worth wasting your time with now. It’s also among the worst Frankenstein-inspired games I’ve ever played.

More: Dr. Franky and the Monster on World of Spectrum

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