10 Levels of Fury (not to be confused with the 'Of Fury' series of games by John Shipley) - or "Mess Up", as it is referred to in-game, is a ZZTer's first released game-the first game by GAMEBOYJBF to be precise. It's unique among first games on the Museum as its author was 9 (admittedly, we only have his word to go on it) when he made it-perhaps the youngest ZZTer on record at the time of its release!
As promised, the player has to face 10 furious levels of enemies, blinkwall and spinning guns (stars only-our GAMEBOYJBF is a gourmet) - the last of which is three parts long - to correct a messing-up of the ZZT world by a magic kit. Since it is his first game, it's all built around action boards.
It's a very rough game but not unplayable. There is only one truly cheap bit in this game, and some careful resource management is needed to get past. Speaking of them, there are just enough resources to get you through the game, though expect to retry a few times before working out how to. The quality of the levels is uneven, with some being better thought-out in terms of enemy or hazard placement than others. There is time for a little trolling with a 'gotcha' object at one point in the game and a final boss that actually works as a puzzle of sorts.
For a first ZZT game, GAMEBOYJBF has tried his hand at coding objects instead of doing everything with built-in enemies, scrolls and on-text screen. The objects are simple but well-coded. I do wonder where he got the notion that you need to have copious amounts of star-throwing hazards was a good idea. Graphics, of course, are nothing to write home about.
I went in expecting something unplayable and came out surprised that I made it through without cheating (though I did have to save and restore a few times). All in all, not something I'd recommend but something that deserves some respect as a playable first game.
Reviewed: Feb 6, 2023
Rating: out of 5.0 This user has opted out of providing a numeric rating