the end game credits of Turrican II? Manfred Trenz, famed programmer
of such classics as Katakis and Turrican, announced that he would
never ever write a single line of code again for good old C64.
in 1992, Enforcer was published by a German magazine called "Golden
Disk 64" as a low budget game. In the opening titles of the game,
the programmer and graphic artist was just named "The Master", but
the end game credits actually tell us that "The Master" is Mr. Manfred
has often been called the unofficial sequel to Katakis, but it looks
and plays a lot more like the shmuppy levels from Turrican II. Even
the weapon system is the same as in Turrican II. There's a multiple
way shot, a powerful laser and a reflecting laser to choose from.
Additionally, there are smart bombs, multiples, speed ups/downs,
power ups, and a shield to collect.
But Enforcer is not only the very last C64 game by Manfred, it's also a trip through the history of his carreer, for a lot of background graphics and foes have been recycled from previous games. I don't know if this is supposed to be some kind of joke or if Mr. Trenz was a bit lazy and just went for a quick cash-in. I, personally, think that the latter is the case.
So there's not very much to see that we haven't seen before, but everything that's new looks quite nice. Therefore, the graphics are of very high quality.
The music, composed and conducted by Armin Siebold, is not bad, but nothing to write home about either. There's not a single memorable tune in there. The sfx, however, sound somewhat flat.
The game is a bit confusing. Often the screen is overcrowded with foes and bullets and sometimes it gets difficult to tell where the player's spaceship is amidst all the chaos.
There are certain spots in the game where death is hardly avoidable. There are other spots where it's not avoidable at all. You just die. This is what I have to criticise most about Enforcer.
I don't mind a fairly difficult game (I love Io, for example), but Enforcer is simply unfair. I just hate it, when success depends more on luck than on the skills of the player. Mr. Trenz obviously tried to compensate this by throwing in a lot of shield symbols, but that doesn't make it any better. He should have worked harder on the stages and on the enemies' attack patterns.
But to say something positive at last: most boss fights are quite cool. Much better than those of Katakis.
So, overall, I have to say that Enforcer is quite disappointing. I expect a lot from a game done by Mr. Trenz and Enforcer doesn't meet up with my expectations at all. Apart from being not as well designed as his previous masterpieces, it features just graphics we already know and a soundtrack that is in no way exciting.
I can only recommend it to those who collect games from Manfred Trenz or to those who know not even one of his previous pieces. To the latter ones, Enforcer offers some nice eye candy at least.