Review by Dave Giarrusso




Overall: 5

I watch a lot of bad movies.  On purpose.  Among them, the original 13 Ghosts, Uncle Sam, and The Screaming Skull, a film that promised viewers a free funeral if they died of fright while watching it.  The Screaming Skull is, literally, an excuse for a stagehand to go around lobbing a (very) plastic skull into various scenes for pretty much no reason.  Then, whomever the skull happened to be attacking would catch the skull and hold it up to their throat, face, etc. while screaming in terror.  It’s a “great” bad film.

It has a sister film called The Crawling Eye.  I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s on my “to do” list of awful B-movies to see.  In the meantime, I’ve got Rock Ola’s creepy coin-op, Eyes, to keep my peepers peppered with B-movie images of disembodied, deadly orbs.

In Eyes, you control a giant eyeball capable of shooting daggers - laser daggers.  Four similarly equipped evil eyes chase you in standard cat and mouse, maze game fashion.  Clear each maze by shooting all the targets, and along the way, wipe out as many of the enemy eyes as possible.

While it might sound like another Pac-Man clone at first listen, it’s actually a lot closer to the Tank round in Bally’s Tron.  If your eye gets caught in an alley and can’t turn out of the path of enemy fire in time, you’re toast.  Unlike Tron, your turretless eye can only fire in the direction that it’s looking.  Like Tron, you also want to avoid crashing into the enemies.

Eyes strikes me as one of the more “quiet” games at the arcade.  It doesn’t offer anything terribly new and exciting to make it stand out from the maze game crowd, and it’s not a game you’d immediately run to as soon as you walked in the door.  It IS a game that would have wound up on the play list though, probably later on in the evening when you were trying to stretch those last few tokens out until closing time.

Eyes’ eight levels are distinguished by different colors, targets, scoring, and slight difficulty ramping, but the actual maze remains the same.  The game isn’t all that difficult, and once the player reaches the final round, the computer is really just waiting for the player to get careless.  Note: the score rolls over at a million, so if you’re shooting for the high score table, keep a spare eye on it.

Eyes’ groovy background sounds are worth mentioning.  Imagine the sound of a bunch of glass spiders walking along a patch of thin ice.  Listen as the ice begins to crack and give way underneath the spiders’ spindly legs without breaking all the way through.  The sounds you’re hearing in your mind’s eye (ear) are the creepy background sounds from Eyes.

Like the similarly named movie, Eyes is a fun diversion, and is ultimately more fun than frightening.  It doesn’t toss anything at us that we haven’t seen before, but what’s there is still worth a glance.  If you’re the type of movie aficionado who insists on watching only landmark films like Citizen Kane, the Godfather, or Pulp Fiction, Eyes probably isn’t for you.  If, however, you relish the thought of kicking back in front of the tube every now and then and popping in mediocre B-flicks like The Warrior, In Your Face, or Death Nurse, look for Eyes at an arcade near you.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 03:24 PM