Aztec is a platform-scrolling adventure game designed and programmed by Paul Stephenson and published by Datamost in 1982. In the mode of the first Indiana Jones movie, Aztec involves an intrepid, fedora-wearing explorer daring to plumb the depths of the Tomb of Quetzacoatl with the object of finding an invaluable jade idol that is supposedly hidden there. It was given a respectable 5.79 out of 9 in the reader ratings published in the May-June 1983 issue of Computer Gaming World; in a review published in the same issue, Tom Jones wrote: "The graphics are among the best that are now available on the market."
The large tomb that is to be explored is randomly created with each new game and consist of rooms divided into three on-screen vertical levels that connect horizontally with each other and are sometimes connected vertically by stairs. One room usually has a staircase that descends to the level below, although it is also possible to blast through the floor using dynamite. Armed with a pistol, machete, and the aforementioned dynamite, the player has to make his way past everything from Aztecs, snakes, and jaguars to strange tentacled monsters living deep in the bowels of the tomb.
But the most dangerous aspect of the Aztec god's tomb is the numerous traps, which can involve doors that lock behind you, ceilings that descend upon you, trapdoors that open beneath you, and water that fills up the room. Once trapped, there is no cleverness that can save you, only dynamite will serve.
Fortunately, the tombs are liberally populated with chests and piles of trash, some of which inexplicably contain bullets, dynamite, and other useful items. The movement controls have an unusual quirk in that jumping is faster than either walking or running, so players often preferred to move by repeated leaping from point to point rather than walking or running.
The graphics are quite detailed for its time and the random nature of the tombs allowed for a greater depth of gameplay than was common in 1982, although they also occasionally led to tombs that were impassible dead ends from the very first room. There are eight difficulty levels which relate primarily to the number and aggressiveness of the tomb's denizens.
From the game
A few weeks ago a rumor surfaced that Professor G. Von Forster, noted tomb robber and archeologist, had discovered the entrance to the Tomb of Quetzalcoatal.
Inside this tomb there is a jade idol worth a fortune to any one who can find it and return alive.
You are now standing at the entrance to the tomb.
Before you enter remember that the tomb is guarded by terrible monsters and men without mercy. Also, don't forget about Von Forster's nasty streak... He may have left some deadly surprises behind...
One more thing... the value of the idol is high right now but dropping steadily. The faster you return under the greatest difficulty the larger your reward will be. If you are good enough you could well become a millionaire...
Press any key...