FACEBOOK          TWITTER          INSTAGRAM          YOUTUBE          PINTEREST          PINTEREST


Life as a Rock & Roll Mega Star in the 21st Century has it's downside, a year long International concert tour along with the constant threat of being mobbed by adoring fans has resulted in a need to remain confined to the Hotel Suite. Join our Mega Star as he flees stardom by escaping into the Action packed Virtual Reality Worlds of Mars, The Haunted House and the The Underwater World. Viewed from the third person perspective each level contains:
  • Rock & Roll Sound Tracks.
  • 3 levels and 25 sub levels.
  • Real time texture mapped backgrounds and stunning pre-rendered enemies.
  • Numerous enemies to destroy and items to collect on each level.
  • Digitised Player Graphics and much more.
~ from the back of the box

Virtuoso (1994, Motivetime Ltd) is Inception in video game form. Not for its complex plot, interesting characters or - worryingly for an third-person shooter - banging action scenes, but for it being a game within a game. You play as "the greatest musical talent of all time" who has been trapped inside his hotel room due to hordes of adoring fans blocking every exit. All he has to occupy himself is a virtual reality machine called Virtuoso, and it is that game both you and the leather-clad rock god will be playing.

In all honesty, this is just a lame excuse to have a digitized metaller fight spiders on mars, robots in an underwater sea base or snowmen in the grounds of a haunted mansion. And in 1994, it was lambasted for it. Reviews were unkind, particularly for the 3DO original with many calling it 'the worst Doom variant around'. Playing the DOS version now, I can understand the ire but can't exactly agree with it. It does have an absurdly short draw distance, a novel third-person viewpoint that often obscure your view and a slow moving protagonist that will take many cheap hits. Despite this, the plentiful pick ups and generous heath bar to counteract much of the unnecessary damage making it more forgiving to play than it could have been. The simple gameplay loop encourages exploration with allow you to uncover the rare neat tricks in its level design. In the more technically lenient eyes of a retro gamer, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

The developers at Movietime did take on some of the engines limitations within its design. Our generic frontman may mosty block your view of the long and narrow corridors that populate the map, but he can also hug the walls giving you a much better view. Doing this will also see a enemy's slow-moving bullets slide past you if you time it right. He can shimmy left and right and if enemies gang up on you, there are a limited number of screen-clearing specials to get them all in one. I rarely used this as my main weapon seemed good enough in most instances, though I admit I wasn't aware of it until I sourced a manual.

Each of the 24 levels - 8 in each stage - play roughly the same. Find a key, then find he exit. Along the way, you can collect useful items such as a map and a radar which you'll no doubt use regularly thanks to some surprisingly sprawling later levels. The radar, found on the top right of the HUD when found, shows the position of all nearby enemies so you can plan your attack. Some go down in on hit, others take several but the worst are flying creatures like bats or birds. Good luck getting an aim on these beasts. Thankfully, a destroyed enemy stays destroyed - at least until you lose a life - but those not hit will respawn at the same point if you find you need to do some backtracking.

Some enemies are more than just bullet fodder. When you finally enter the halls of the Haunted Mansion, seemingly unkillable suits of armor will slowly trundle after you like a Boo in a Mario level, gaining in number as you explore. Robots in the underwater research station of the Marine campaign will ignore you, only damaging you if you get in their way, but they will also keep open slamming doors allowing you to follow them through without taking damage. These are interesting concepts not even Doom thought to do.

That's the game Virtuoso will always be compared to. Doom is the better game by far, but I still had a blast blasting away some virtual demons virtually through a virtual emulation of DOS. Inception indeed.

To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the Enhanced Community Edition (ECE) build of DOSBox 0.74 to bring the game to modern systems. Manual included. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 73.3 Mb.  Install Size: 101 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


Virtuoso is © Motivetime Ltd
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

Like this? Try These...

http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/the-devil-inside.html  https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/esoteria-techno-assassin-of-future.html  https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/2019/06/outwars.html


  1. This game has the most AMAZING soundtrack! ( :

    1. Yes! I wonder if the then unsigned Thai Dyed Suicide actually got a contract.

  2. Replies
    1. Far better than I was expecting, considering its reputation.

  3. The All-Seeing Amber Monochrome Monitor23 October 2021 at 08:26

    I had (and still have) this for the original 3DO, and it was pretty rough with those already clunky 3DO controllers... Reading about your experience with it via DOSBOX, I have a feeling the DOS version may have played a bit more fluidly and responsively. Looking back at the main character in this now, I can't help but wonder...

    How the hell did DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER travel back in time into 1994 to star in his own lukewarm digitized excursion?

    "...that's not a site... THIS is a site!" -Crocodile Dundee