The Rats

• Publisher: H & S
• Developer:
H & S
Release Date: 1985
Code: Unknown

GFX: Unknown
Music: n/a

ZZAP64 Game Rating: 79%
Our Game Rating: 81%


FILE: ratsend.zip


> THE RATS by Hodder and Stoughton

• Completed & Reviewed by Neil Collins

This game was on the Wanted List for a long time and gave a few of our team members a headache. I had never played this game before and gave it a quick go, but failed miserably to get as far as everyone else. I decided to give it another bash a few months later, and see if I could cheat my way to victory. I decided that I need more resources in the game to win and attempted poking away.

The Rats is a game based on the groundbreaking James Herbert horror novel. The aim of the game is to research and develop weapons to fight off the plague of killer rats that are taking over London. The game is played in two styles - one being a strategy game where you plan and position your resources on a map, and the other style being a menu driven text adventure game where you are put into random situations where you confront the rats first hand. Your aim is to stop the rats taking over or escaping London, while keeping the main characters in the game alive. It's a very difficult task as the terror spreads quickly and your resources are minimal. I quite enjoyed playing this game as it is pretty original and creates a good atmosphere of horror. The graphics and sound are basic with the game play quite simple but very challenging. I think it does a decent job of recreating some of the terror of the book. A must for horror fans who like a tough challenge.

The ending begins...

...blah, blah, blah...

...and more blah.

"HURRAH! The Leader is dead!"


The End.

HOW WAS IT COMPLETED?: I tinkered about to stop my resources decreasing - so I had unlimited police, fire and pest control services. This allowed me to flood the map and stop the rats progress while the research guys developed weapons. I also had to work out the solutions to the smaller text adventure parts that involved the main heroes, as their death means game over. These took a few attempts, but were quite logical in their solutions.

SO WHAT HAPPENS?: The final part of the game is a larger text adventure part that ends in you confronting the large, double headed leader of the rats that features in the book. Once it is killed the game is won and a description of it's death is written on the screen. It goes on to tell you about the offspring that escapes you, which means the terror would probably continue one day. The map is then shown and a scrolling message confirms the leader's death and that victory is yours. Your final score is then shown and the game ends. The score is based on how well you did in the small text based scenarios throughout the game.


  • Neil: The game lacks in the graphics and sound department, so I didn't think the ending would be up to much. It's how you would expect a text adventure game to end - with a descriptive conclusion to the story. 3/10.

  • Vinny: Never played this game; don't ever want to play it, and I don't like the ending. 3/10 seems fair to me, but it's obvious that we weren't going to get anything more than the story ending and a score. I say we all forget about this game and move on ;-) I'm sure Brendan has got something to say...

  • Brendan Phoenix: Whoo hoo! Great to see this end up, alas it is a bit like rats droppings.

    I think the game was ahead of it's time and they took an original approach to the licence, it does get a bit gripping. Just glad it has been completed, really thought I would never see the end of ths one. As I have said before, there are no walkthrough's available and no forum members do not seem to have completed it. May be a first!

    At least it does have an ending and there is some sense of accomplishment with defeating the leader rat, but the score provided seems fine by me.

  • Andy Vaisey: Well, it's probably been about 18 years since I read the James Herbert book on which this is based, but some of that text seems familiar; maybe some of the prose has been lifted for the ending to this game?

    Great book! Fantastic author! 'Different' game. Ending as good as it probably could have been.

  • Andrew Fisher: A very intriguing game with some good ideas... the ending is not bad considering there must have been limited memory left.

    (Although it does make me wonder if there is a "better" ending for getting a better score... no, don't feed me that rat poison, I was only wondering...)

FINAL SAY: Not very exciting, but as expected. It ends like the book.

G.E. RATING: 3 / 10

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Copyright İVinny Mainolfi