STORY / GAMEPLAY
You play the role of a war hero called Brad Conrad, who visits his old uncle Milo down to Tijuana for the weekend. Milo has an obsession with the Aztecs, and owns lots of dusty relics and stuff cluttering up his pad. One day, Milo goes missing and Brad discovers an old, 400 years old map of the lost city of Quetzacotl (located somewhere in the jungles of South America) and its cache of gold. You prepare your back pack, your gun, your knife and set off to visit this hostile world. But you must be all careful since: other people are also looking for this great treasure. You fly a small airplane and, armed with your trusty knife and gun, you parachute into the thick jungle. This is the point where your adventure begins. Will you be able to get the treasure and get away safe or will you fall victim to the natives or the traps set by the Aztecs to protect their treasure? Needless to say, Brad's life gets ever more harsh when you need to deal with head hunters, venomous snakes and spiders, nut-throwing monkeys, deadly spikes and collapsing bridges.
You must walk screen by screen to proceed and each screen bears its own hidden traps and foes (pigmies awaiting to strike you down) to either avoid or destroy. Although interesting, the game is far too difficult to play especially because of its awkward way to use weapons (you're equipped with a knife and a pistol with limited ammo). Timing is often critical, so you'll end up practicing each and every precise, almost robotic, move over and over again to get it right, instead of naturally responding to an action and instinctively with a friendly character. In each screen you need good timing to avoid traps etc and this can get really frustrating in time. Things are getting tougher as the game plays in flip-screen mode, thus there is not enough time to react when incoming foes throw poisonous darts at you.
Other than its difficulty, Gold of The Aztecs is a good game, with many deadly traps to avoid and loads of puzzles to solve. If you ultimately manage its precise need of well-timed moves, the game will be fun to play and will keep you coming back for more. GRAPHICS / SOUND
The graphics on the ST look great with large, detailed sprites, colorful scenery (up to 16 simultaneous colors), coupled with smooth (but rather awkward) animation. According to the manual, the game has 3Mb of graphics and 600Kb of music, amounts quite impressive for its time. Each screen is nicely detailed and includes a few animated scenes at the background.
Sound-wise, the game features a nice introductory theme and a few sampled (Amiga, ST only) sound effects while there is also a spooky in-game music.