HKM - Human Killing Machine
Copyright/Publisher: US Gold Music By: Mark Tait, Release Year: 1989,
Genre: Fighting Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

In today's moral climate, it seems that more and more people are living by the rule 'kill or be killed'. Some people are taking the idea to extremes, plunging into danger just to prove that they're really hard and a lot stupider than all the other guys.

Kwon is one such person. Filled with the need to demonstrate the power of his homeland, he decides to travel the world doing battle with all manner of opponents. First off it's away to Russia and to the majestic city of kick seven colours out of the Russians (and this month's Henry Kissinger Award for diplomacy goes to...) starting with the nearest Kremlin guard and then his dog (very friendly - no, I think I'm lying).

After those little Russian confrontations it's off to Amsterdam for a bit of... WHOARR! KNOWORRAMEAN! But Kwon's reputation has spread and one of the... er... young ladies (ahem) tries to knock him stupid. Once you've got rid of her, there's her friend to deal with.

Next comes the holiday atmosphere of Barcelone, where Kwon decides that Miguel the bullfighter isn't doing the best job of beating the horned brute, so he leaps in the ring, smashes Miguel unconscious and then deals with the bull.

Well after a beating a bull, Kwon is well away. Nothing can stand in his path... can it?

The backdrops are quite attractive - detailed and atmospheric - in both versions of HKM; but the sprites are pretty appalling. The animation isn't exactly incredible on the Amiga or the 64 and the blobby animal sprites on the 64 just have to be seen to be believed.

Worst of all, there really isn't any gameplay to speak of in either version - the 64's really easy, the Amiga version's annoyingly hard and both are really repetitive with little skill involved. Avoid.

As soon as I saw the naff loading screens, I though that things were starting to go a bit awry. That's when the game came on - oh dear. The sprites on the Amiga version are large enough, but the animation leaves a lot to be desired. All it amounts to is a few basic moves and actions, none of which are particularly realistic.

The 64 version doesn't even have decent sized sprites to fall back on (just some twiglet-like dogs, people and bulls) and if we're talking about playability... there's hardly any! The 64 version is ridiculously easy - so easy in fact, that I finished after just one go - I don't think I'll be returning to it again. This is an incredibly weak program and one of the worst fighting games I've ever seen.

I usually love this kind of game - in fact IK+ is one of my all time favourites - but Human Killing Machine fails to generate any excitement in the old fighting genes at all. The similarities to Street Fighter are inescapable - apart from one thing: HKM is actually worse because you get one game instead of two.

The graphics are poorly animated, the sound is annoying, the multiload drawn out and the playability virtually non-existent. In fact, it lacks just about everything that a good game should have, so stick to IK+ until something better comes along. The Amiga price tag is a great idea - I just hope better products will support it in future. .


Drab appearance - nothing special.
Tiny 64 sprites fight over dull backdrops and the larger Amiga graphics have very little in the way of interesting or realistic animation.
Pathetic tunes soon become annoying on both versions.
The 64 version is ridiculously easy and the Amiga one is frustratingly hard.
Far too easy on the 64 and not compelling enough on the Amiga to warrant lasting interest.
A beat'em up which doesn't look too hot, sounds uninteresting and plays even worse. The Amiga mark is only higher due to the price tage.