Meet one Malcom West, who anguishes through terrible nightmares, generally involving heights, falling from heights and bouncing from height to height. The game details several “worlds†Malcolm experiences in his horrid little dreams, and you’ll be seeing all five of them, but each one is pretty much based on floating platforms and the long drop beneath them.

9It’s actually an interesting concept, one which lends itself to Microforum’s claims of “a new standard for 3D games.†That “new standard†is a third-person view of our hero, one which can be rotated and spun about on an axis, giving a pretty good illusion of 3D and a view of the game’s textured graphics. Malcolm is always horizontally centered on the screen, shooting or jumping or running or picking up new weapons, etc., while dream demons grow in quantity and quality as the levels and storyline march on.

Unfortunately, the concept is certainly not explored to its potential, and the game gets quite dreary after about the fourteen-thousandth platform-to-platform jump, becoming little more than a shooting gallery with a twist. It’s hard to explain, but some 3D games make you want to come back time and time again, while others, like SoulTrap, do not.

It doesn’t help that bits and chunks of scenery occasionally flit about the screen where they’re not supposed to, and that the game will sometimes break apart into a nearly indistinguishable rainbow of on-screen colors and shapes, forcing a quick reboot. The violence and bad guys are also formidably weak in their presentation. With suitably spooky music, a dark tone, a nice assortment of weaponry and a nightmarishly intriguing idea, SoulTrap could’ve been more. As it is, it’s an initially inspirational but repetitive and only marginally entertaining exercise.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 Mhz, 8 MB RAM, DOS

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