Publisher : Tomahawk
Release date : 1990
Genre : Beat 'Em Up
Players : 2
Game description...
"In the fantastic decors of a nightmarish country, a man is fighting for his survival."
Programming :
Graphics :
  Joseph Kluytmans & Noel Fixen
Music/Sounds :
  Vincent Barat

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Download Manual
Editors review...
No Exit is the only beat 'em up on the console, and it's a side on 1v1 fighter where your unnamed character is pitted against 6 increasingly tough opponents. For each fighter you face each stage features new nicely draw background graphics, of a gothic fantasy horror nature - although it's hard to tell if this is based on earth, another planet, some other dimension, etc. Monsters feature in the game, and Nightbreed-style you can turn into a monster with increased strength three times in the game to give yourself an edge when needed, but you'd be advised to save these for the last three opponents. Why you are fighting them and the purpose of the game isn't made clear, there's very little back story in the game manual or on the back of the box which adds to the feeling that there should have been more care and attention put into the game - but more on that later.

Let's talk about the meat of the game - the actual fighting. Well, this isn't going to be a Street Fighter II beater - in fact it wouldn't beat the first Street Fighter! Where the aforementioned game was a very well measured and balanced fighter, with a large range of moves and blocks, interesting range of fighters and required time and patience to be skilled at the game - No Exit is the opposite of this. This is a very poor 1v1 beat 'em up where there's little chance to get any true skill in the game, the skill being measured attacks, blocks and responses just isn't possible with the small sprites moving about far too quickly and the limited range of moves available. Instead it dissolves into a button mashing fest with most players attempting to spam attacks on the opponent but wondering why they die so quickly before giving up the game completely. Well, this is because of the games only saving grace and quite a novel feature - if you miss your attack you lose energy. Worse, if your opponent blocks your attack then not only do you lose energy but they gain some back! Pushing down on your controller initiates a bizarre animation where it looks like you're punching the floor - in fact you're gaining back your energy. Once you understand these game mechanics, suddenly No Exit is a much better and more interesting game. Still doesn't mean it's any good though!

Presentation throughout is rather odd and frankly amateurish. Whilst there are several title screens, the coders have thrown in lots of raster effects and other tricks used by demo coders on the demo scene - but it doesn't often work very well and simple things like the game logo and the menu options are hard to read and do not look pleasant to the eye. Just because the GX4000 has an extended palette and lots of new colours - doesn't mean that you should throw as much of them in as possible. Sometimes restraint is best, something which the main game itself lacks.

So in summary it feels like a quickly put together game by a bunch of demo coders who fancied writing proper games but lack the experience and knowledge to know firstly how a 1v1 beat 'em up should work and secondly how to present a game in a professional manner. Whilst I will give it credit for it's fairly unique energy system, and when you defeat a fighter they explode in a mass of limbs, blood and yellow goo - ultimately it fails on all accounts and sadly has the distinct honour of being the worst game on the console. It's far too difficult, you can only win by playing with cheap tactics and there's only 6 fighters anyway before you complete it. A two player option and the ability to adjust your opponents strengths, agility, etc may extend the life span of the game, otherwise it's a game best forgotten about.

  The background art looks lovely, but presentation on the title screens is amateurish at best and the sprites in game are too small. If there was any decent animation it's ruined by the speed of how the sprites move.
There's one short tune on the initial title screen, it's nothing to write home about and that's it for the game.
Your average 8-bit fighting noises - lots of 'phuts' and 'splats' as is common.
Amateurish. There's a time and place for clever demo coding effects, throwing as much in as possible on the title screens doesn't necessarily mean the end effect will be good. Doesn't feel like a professional project, which is not good when you would be paying 25 in 1990 for this on cartridge!
Whilst this isn't the worst of it's type for an 8-bit system, they clearly haven't grasped what makes a good 1 vs 1 beat 'em up. The sprites are too small and they move about far too quickly meaning it's practically impossible to plan your combat in any meaningful way. So you result to cheap tactics to win.
All credit for the relatively unique energy system, but even when you understand how this works - the game just isn't fun.
The game is overly difficult, but if you manage to fudge your way through each increasingly difficult fighter - there's only 6 of them before the game is completed! There is a two player option which is probably more fun than the one player campaign, but who would want to play this game with you? Lastly you can tweak your opponents strength, agility, etc statistics so this may expand the lifespan of the game a little, but not by much.
No back story or motivation for beating the game, and the concept of the 1v1 beat 'em up is a well worn path. However as mentioned before - credit where credit is due for the energy system.
AI & Challenge
I've seen worse in 8-bit fighting games and at least the enemies acknowledge for example their energy is getting low so they better start building that up. Later stage enemies I believe do that more often and have more strength. As for intelligent fighting - it's hard to tell with the action moving far too quickly.
GX4000 Features
They've used lots of extra colours from the GX4000 palette - so that is good. No hardware sprites or scrolling though.
Summary The worst game on the GX4000.
Final Score 39%
  Infinite energy -
  &33F: &DD -> 00   &340: &77 -> 00   &341: &20 -> 00

Infinite time -
  &9929: &3D -> 00
YouTube video...

Further more...
  Amstrad Action final score : 60%
  GX4000.CO.UK game ranking : #
  Game value (boxed + instructions) : £20 - £40

Manuals and some sleeve scans by mochilote at

ROMS taken from NVG FTP Site maintained by Nich Campbell, see his other site - CPC Game Reviews

Cheats (various) taken from CPC Zone contributed by Hermol, cpc4eva, Malc and others

Inspiration generally taken from John King's PCW King GX4000 site

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