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Spiderman PlayStation ***** Licensing an iconic cartoon figure to make a computer game rarely produces anything great. The games are invariably execrable exercises in the manipulation of a youth market - just look at the desperately bad X-men from Activision.

Spiderman PlayStation ***** Licensing an iconic cartoon figure to make a computer game rarely produces anything great. The games are invariably execrable exercises in the manipulation of a youth market - just look at the desperately bad X-men from Activision.

Spiderman, the latest action game from the same publishers, therefore, comes as something of a surprise. Forget the lazy, dull-eyed beat-'em-ups, this is an engagingly difficult and fabulous-looking adventure game. Spiderman, of course, is best known for doing whatever a spider can. And in this game Spidey does it all. He scales walls with balletic agility and swings through the urban jungle. Our hero moves with a fluidity rarely seen in PSX games and it is a delight to send him off on a variety of cross-genre objectives. One minute he'll be off over a skyscraper to rescue a damsel, the next he'll be disarming criminals and trussing up the reprobates with a squirt of cobweb.

It's not an easy game: the puzzles can be complicated and the bad guys are difficult to crack. But the fabulous graphics, tongue-in-cheek cartoon humour and tight narrative make this gripping spider-on-the-wall stuff. Activision, £29.99

Turok 3 Nintendo 64 ***** The hunter-gatherer returns. The original dinosaur massacre romp enters its third generation here and is scarcely recognisable from its forebears. Turok has disappeared as have the dinosaurs. Taking their places in this futuristic-looking scenario are blood-thirsty cyber-creatures and heroes Joseph and Danielle Fireseed. Apart from familiar weapons and the odd rogue tribal outfit, the game resembles the old Turok in name alone.

The protagonists of Turok 3 must save their Lost Land from Oblivion. Oblivion is a "monstrous, omnipotent jellyfish" which devours all in its path. So suspend disbelief, pick a hero to pursue the hungry coelenterate and embark on your mission. This will involve more puzzle-solving than is comfortable and an inordinate amount of killing with an imaginative variety of weapons.

Graphically, it's a disappointment. Despite the extension pak, the graphics aren't much of an improvement on the first installment. But the 20 levels of exploration and pillage offer constantly changing scenery, surprises and good detailing. Ultimately, though, you can't escape the fact that it's a fairly average reworking of the ground-breaking Golden Eye. Acclaim, £29.99

Turok 3 Gameboy ***** Much as one is loathe to give Lara Croft more exposure, Tombraider for the Gameboy was the perfect adventure game for this somewhat limited console. Turok 3, however - second sequel and a scaled down copy of the N64's original dino-hunt - is as bad as Tombraider is good. As a game, it is an abject failure.

Scroll across dull screen after dull screen as you stab, eviscerate and blow holes into legions of dinosaurs. Graphically, it's unimpressive and gameplay issimplistic. The game's fatal flaw lies in its identity crisis: is it a puzzler, a beat-'em-up or a first person shooter? It tries to be all three. Extinction would be too good for it. Acclaim, £24.99

Pokémon Pinball Gameboy Colour ***** The mysterious appeal of the Pokémon keeps Pokémon Yellow in Harry Potter-like glory at the top of the Gameboy charts. But not content with a game of their own, the fiendish mini-monsters from Japan are now using more traditional games to strengthen their grip on the nation's children.

The basic premise is to catch and evolve all 150 of the little monsters to fill your pokédex. The fact that to do this you need to be something of a pinball wizard is what will initially attract the Pokémon uninitiate. The game is one of the new Gameboy titles which come with their own mini-rumblepak, which judders pleasingly as you use the flippers. Gameplay is effortless and putting the thing down is out of the question. This is a Gameboy game worth shelling out all that cash for. Nintendo, £26.99

s.chatterton@independent.co.uk

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