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Classic 1980s action adventure
The names of developers Probe and designer Dave Perry are legendary amongst fans of all things 1980s, with titles like Trantor, Earthworm Jim, Outrun and Smash TV amongst their collective outputs. Savage is one of their best collaborations, a brutal hack 'n' slash adventure that mixes side scrolling platform action with a 3D into-the-screen level to create an enjoyable slice of 1980s retro nostalgia. The story sees players taking control of the titular Savage, a muscular barbarian who has been trapped in a mouldy dungeon and who must escape to rescue his girlfriend. While the plot may not exactly be a classic, any shortcomings in this department are more than made up for in the gameplay and graphics. What's interesting about the game is that its three levels (remember this was the 1980s) each offer very distinct game styles. The opening level is a side-scrolling platformer, where you control the title character as he runs, jumps and hacks his way through his enemies, while the second is a Space Harrier-style £D shooter and the third is a multi-directional scroller where you the Savage is transformed into a giant eagle. All three styles are highly engaging and mesh together well, creating an experience that is as varied as it is enjoyable. The graphics and sound too deserve a special mention, with visuals that remain stunning today and superb music and effects that serve to enhance the action. Savage really is a classic slice of 1980s action and while it may be relatively short-lived it is a must play for nostalgia fans.