Frank N Stein, ZX Spectrum

Frank N Stein is a simple Manic Miner-style platform game based on Mary Shelley‘s classic horror story, Frankenstein. It was written by Colin Stewart and published for the ZX Spectrum by PSS Software in 1984.

The aim of the game is to travel across fifty different screens, collecting the bones of the monster in the correct order (who becomes more complete, on the operating table in the top right of the screen, as you collect more parts), and to avoid the various hostiles moving around the environment.

The main character – Professor F.N. Stein – cannot jump, but he can bounce directly upwards if he is standing on a spring, which are placed strategically in the platforms around each screen.

Once you’ve collected all the monster parts you must then throw the switch that will zap the monster with electricity and bring him back to life. This then leads to a second screen where you must ascend, Donkey Kong-like, up another series of platforms to defeat the monster by zapping him a second time. And the game alternates between these two screens, but each have a different layout. The longer you take to collect the parts on the first screen, the angrier the monster will be (and the quicker he’ll throw barrels at you) when you resurrect him for the second screen, as he’ll take more charge.

While Frank N Stein is not a particularly memorable or sophisticated game, it is a game I remember playing as a kid, and enjoying it to some degree. It’s actually not too bad to play now, although it’s not really as good as games like Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, Technician Ted, or Turmoil. The Spectrum had a wide range of great platform games available for it, and Frank N Stein is nowhere near one of the worst. Which is as good a compliment as I can give it.

An Amstrad CPC version followed in 1985, and a remake of the game – called Frank N Stein Re-Booted – was released for free by original author Colin Stewart in 2011.

More: Frank N Stein on World of Spectrum

2 thoughts on “Frank N Stein, ZX Spectrum”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.