At first site this appears to be a fairly traditional turrican set with original graphics, and some rather basy but stil welcome mp3 versions of usual Turrican music, however start playing and the differences will become obvious.
Firstly, this level set contains some great ideas, interesting routes, unique uses of original turrican elements pluss a few new ones, ---- for instance a watery cave containing so many false walls you could be playing Metroid, and a really quite unique take on the alien level including some interesting fun with moving ledges.
This however is something of a double edged sword, sinse another factor quickly becomes obvious, ---- difficulty.
The enemy placement can be challenging in itself (though not usually too unfair), but after the first level, the difficulty, --- aka frustration quickly escalates due to the placement of environmental hazards such as spikes, moving ledges, dripping acid, conveyers, cogs and larva.
This situation is only made worse by the fact that while the routes through the levels in terms of weaving back and forth and backtracking are interesting, often they can be somewhat liniar, meaning there is no way around such hazards but to tackle them.
Well at least exploring can gather items to help?
Sadly not, Ruv was somewhat stingy with the item count here, meaning often major exploring or cunning ledge jumping recieves litle or no reward.
Take the first level as an example, I only found one extra life, and that required you to backtrack a fair way, which not only almost guarantees you'll lose a life to time, but also means going througa an area of bouncing balls twice.
So as you get further on in the pack, you are presented with increasingly harder and harder areas of ledge jumping which you must! get through with no alternative, with fewer and fewer power squares and one ups available.
the factory stage with it's spikes and lava is just plane sadistic!
I will freely confess, there were points where I could only get through using the shield cheat to minimize the damage I took by failing one of the increasingly nasty series of jumps which is required.
Of course, this unfairness is something Ruv has learnt from in later packs such as T all, but it does make Ruvfican something of a mixed blessing, --- which is a shame, sinse some of the ideas in this pack are rather interesting, ---- like those false walls I mentioned, and the increasing amount of technical elements such as the gun maze as you get through the alien level towards a factory.
So, I'd advise casual Turrican players to steer clear of this one, and even the hard core to prepare for some frustration, ---- though certainly for the first two, maybe three levels the frustration vs interest ratio isn't too bad.