Cyberpunk Review » Burn:Cycle

August 8, 2007


Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 1994

Developed by: Trip Media

Produced by: Phillips Media, Inc.

Platforms: CD-i, DOS\Windows, Macintosh

Key Cast Members:

  • Sol Cutter: Aaron Schwartz
  • Kris: Viva Duce
  • Gala: Abigail Canton
  • Female Cutter: Tanya Pohlkotte
  • Golden Buddha: Indra Sinha
  • Bonus CD Track Listing:

    1. Burn:Cycle (Theme)
    2. Karmic Church
    3. Flying
    4. System Software
    5. Buddha’s Voice
    6. Into The Televerse
    7. Psychic Roulette
    8. Zip
    9. Kris VR
    10. A Beautiful Relationship
    11. Meltdown

    Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very High

    Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

    Rating: 9 out of 10


    Data thief Sol Cutter has something on his mind. In two hours, it will reformat his cortex into pudding.

    Overview: Originally released by Phillips for their CD-i CD interactive system, Burn:Cycle is a live-action interactive movie, a mash-up of Blade Runner and Johnny Menmonic, with some mini-games and puzzles thrown in. The movie/game follows Sol Cutter as he tries to remove a computer virus from his implant while the player controls some of his actions.

    If you’re lucky enough to find a version with a bonus CD, you’ll have the extra treat of listening to the music of Simon Boswell, who not only does the soundtrack for Burn:Cycle but also Hardware and Hackers.


    The Story: Sol Cutter is a small time data thief who gets his big chance. All he has to do is infiltrate Softech, download some files, sneak out, and get paid for his efforts. Piece of cake…
    … except someone put arsenic-flavored icing on that cake. A sudden surge of data hits Sol upside his head like a brick, and left a nasty little going away present. A virus called Burn:Cycle is now in his neural implant. It’s dormant for now, but if Sol doesn’t get that virus out before the clock hits zero, he’ll get a headache no amount of aspirin or ibuprofen will ever cure. That’s assuming Sol manages to get out of Softech in one piece…

    The countdown to Sol’s destruction begins from the word go, and all you have to save him is your mouse… and some stuff in your inventory, plus whatever stuff you can find along the way. The mouse cursor will change whenever a certain action is possible, and clicking will make Sol perform that action from moving around to shooting to using objects. Point-and-click action is also used in the mini-games you’ll play along the way.


    Sometimes, a man just wants to get in touch with his feminine side.


    Televerse, not cyberspace: Sooner or later, you’ll be jacked into the Televerse to find something to get the Burn:Cycle virus out. It operates much like real time in the game, except there’s a central location called The Pulse that you can instantly jump to since some locations in the Televerse don’t have exits.



    “It ain’t easy bein’ a two-bit thug in an eight-bit town.” (Sol Cutter)

    Bad Graphics, Good Music: PC users may be in for a bit of a system shock when they first play Burn:Cycle, especially if they’re used the accelerated graphic capabilities of their nVidia or ATI Radeon cards. Burn:Cycle was originally ported to the PC during the twilight of DOS/Windows 3.1x. Had Phillips waited, they could have taken advantage of Windows 95’s Direct X drivers, giving them better graphics.

    While the graphics leaves much to improve on, the music from the bonus CD gives those who can’t play the game on their NT-based systems an opportunity to experience the game’s environment from the audio side. The music, composed mostly by Simon Boswell, comes straight from the game and even features some dialog for good measure. My favorite track is number 10, “A Beautiful Relationship,” sounding like an electronic version of the saxophone-background music of private-eye fare while a woman who sounds like a prostitute speaks her mind (“Normally I’d like to keep my knees below my ears on a first date.”).

    Conclusion: Burn:Cycle is a classic game that has earned its place along side the likes of Syndicate and Blade Runner for good reason. It would have easily been a ten-star game had the graphics been up to snuff. Still, having Burn:Cycle in your collection (as opposed to your neural implant) is a big win. And having the music CD with the game is a major find.

    This post has been filed under Cyberpunk Music, Cyberpunk Games by Mr. Roboto.


    August 8, 2007

    Simeo said:

    I suggest to include in Game Reviews - “Bioforge”. That game have pretty nice graphics and High Cyberpunk Visuals. There are a lot of cool screenshots and clips in google about Bioforge.

    August 9, 2007

    Christof said:

    hey! I cant find any torrent or direct download, dont anyone know where can I find it on the net? must have it!

    August 10, 2007

    Mihaly said:

    I love this game!!!! I had this game when i was a kid. I had it for the 3DO, and it wasn’t a bad version what so ever. Great review for a great game. They sell the game on E-Bay for PC for like 10 bucks with shipping.

    August 28, 2007

    Rick said:

    Awesome game. Great memories. An awesome counterpart to Blade Runner PC and Snatcher!

    September 2, 2007

    T. F. H. » Burn:Cycle OST said (pingback):

    […] В киберпанковской стилистике. Подробнее прочитать можно тут […]

    September 8, 2007

    Rick said:

    Worth mentioning: if you played the CD-i version (worth it), then you’d know that the graphics in that version are actually better than the DOS/Mac versions.

    January 21, 2008

    i0111 said:

    Theres a one minus. This is camera recorded game so I think u rly can’t say that theres good craphics or not. The graphics are just imported to in that time graph-chipset and rendered out… actually these kind of “games” are more likely playable movies than games. No offence mate, but I like to think that way about this.

    April 20, 2008

    Andy said:

    what about TEKWAR game?? remember?? or not …

    belka-nuts said:

    what about TEKWAR game?? remember?? or not …

    April 22, 2008

    Carpe Mortis said:

    I remember this game as one of the few games I had for my old Mac Performa CD (oooh CD!) It was quite entertaining, and looking back, it was probably my first experience with Cyberpunk (though I didn’t realise it at the time). To me the most brilliant moment was the clip that played when you failed the memory tree mini-game. You would die, an the Golden Buddha, floating peacefully above the clouds holding the tree of your life, would shrug and say “It’s a bitch.”

    I would LOVE to have that clip saved somewhere where I could use it.

    April 23, 2008

    somebody said:

    what about TEKWAR? … or Daikatana?

    June 6, 2008

    Shadowking81 said:

    I remember this game for the Philips CD-I back then it was ahead of it’s time and the story was awesome! I didn’t like the ending part though with being in a fem body but eh the game still kicks ass even till today I’ve yet to see any game digitizing actual real actors/people into them despite the technology out today instead they prefer to make some shitty pixelated or cgi characters in modern games. Anyways I found this for download on ISOHUNT but my download stopped at 85.7% so does anybody know where I can download this from without having a prob like this? Thanks

    August 2, 2008

    RickyTheFish said:

    I originally played this game for CD-i, and remember being quite impressed with the live-action clips spread so liberally throughout the game on a system so young. My main complaint is that the CD-i controller was so inaccurate, sluggish, and difficult to use, the times you were forced to travel and blow up mines was mind-numbingly frustrating and was very rarely completed successfully in one attempt. I’d like to try the PC version and see just how much having a mouse helps in those scenes and similar situations throughout the game.

    August 4, 2008

    Shadowking81 said:

    Hey dude It’s on Isohunt for download. The thing is I downloaded it but it didn’t work even when I switched to compatibility mode for it. I went as far as ordering it for the PC and found it on ebay. The thing is I got it and it wouldn’t work at all. I own it on the Philips CD-I but I wanted to see how dif the PC version is. Hope I’ve been any help to you.


    November 4, 2008

    Adam Daub said:

    It’d be very interesting to see a fan capture of the FMV sequences edited into a stand-alone film. Some diehard fans of the Wing Commander series cut all the FMV into a film not terribly long ago and it was mildly enjoyable. I wonder how difficult it would be to diassemble the game without having to do a straight video capture? Of course there will forever be the issue of the PC version’s awful transfers of the original CD-I’s video. Still, it’s something to consider. :)

    November 9, 2008

    Tim aka. Shadowking81 said:

    Hey Adam I once recorded the whole game to a VHS as I played it flawlessly on my Phillips CD-I back in 94-95. If I find the tape I’ll transfer it onto dvd or turn it to other formats and upload it most likely on ISOHUNT. I’ll let everyone know if I find it and all. The thing is It’s not just the videos so you get to see me playing though with not much waiting because I beat the game in a little over 40 minutes or so.I would post it up as a walk through if I found the tape but really no need for a walk through hehe. I have a PC game of BURN CYCLE if anyone is interested I’ll sell it for $10 +$2 shipping

    November 13, 2008

    BreadHax0r said:

    This was the first cd rom game I owned on pc, ah such fond memories. I remember it took me forever to beat as a kid, I think I was stuck in the televerse.

    November 14, 2008

    Tim aka. Shadowking81 said:

    Hey BreadHax0r! I have this on both the Philips CD-I and for PC CD-ROM but I don’t know how to get it to play on the PC I think I gotta run it under MS-DOS compatibility mode or so but I’m not good with figuring it out.Yeah the televerse was crazy having to go through the Cortex,Nirvana and the room with Aski back and forth so many times to unravel the puzzle and all. I wish they made games today which actually had reall actors digitized in them instead of cgi and pixelated characters

    Adam Daub said:

    Good luck running it on anything above Windows 98/2000. XP fucking hates it without some sort of emulation device (I.E. DOSBOX)
    I have an older laptop with 98 still loaded just to play jewels such as this. :)

    Adam Daub said:

    ! Very cool. If you find it PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I can edit for it and make it look fantastic. I think it would be something the fanbase of this game would really enjoy.

    I just wish there was a way to extract ALL of the video so that way I could cut some of the failure scenes in a way that made sense.

    Adam Daub said:

    AHA! Apparently a program called ISO BUSTER CAN rip video/audio from CD-I format discs!

    January 10, 2009

    noname said:

    If you want to run Burn:Cycle under WindowsXP, you could try this patch:

    Download, then do this:

    1. copy ALL burn cycle files from your cd to the directory PROGRAMS\BURNCYCL in the extracted directory!
    2. click on the icon “dosbox.exe” and wait for it to start

    Click ALT+ENTER for it to switch to window mode and change settings.

    You need a fast PC to let it play smoothly.

    January 13, 2009

    Tim Stoddard said:

    Will this run in Vista?

    February 3, 2009

    Anonymous said:

    can i get it for xp???, or only , connect, to the old philips media reproductor….????

    negoth said:

    can i get it for xp???, or only , connect, to the old philips media reproductor….????

    February 7, 2009

    Andy said:

    Yes. It’s work under my XP SP2.
    Download this:
    Then unpack zip file archive and run 7z archive, from that zip, in c:\games\burncycl, for example.
    Then do this: copy all burn cycle files from your cd to the directory PROGRAMS\BURNCYCL.
    Directory PROGRAMS\BURNCYCL is alredy unpucked from 7z archive to c:\games\burncycl, i.e. c:\games\burncycl\PROGRAMS\BURNCYCL is a full path.
    Run dosbox_nogui.bat

    March 19, 2009

    Stretch said:

    Totally loved this game first time round on the CD-i, however a friend stole the music disc and a year later theives stole the game. But. about 5/6 years after that I went into a game shop looking for a copy and was presented with jewel case that had the music disc missing and the distinctive crack i’d managed to put in it by standing on it.

    I bought it back for £2.

    On another note, not having CD-i anymore I wanted to get the PC version up and running. There’s some good info here: in the comments.

    However on Vista x64, and x86 I can’t get it working to a playable standard using Virtual PC.

    Ah well.

    May 8, 2009

    Chino said:

    Hey dude Thank you very much. this is the game I finally got it working. one more thing. how to set the windows into english. this is the best patch Ive waited for 5 years

    June 22, 2009

    noname said:

    you’re welcome. ;-) [the creator]

    July 20, 2009

    Shadwking81 said:

    Hey guys I’m selling my copy of Burn Cycle for PC on Ebay if anyone wants it? I don’t know how to use it on the PC but I already have it on the Philips CD-I so yeah I don’t really need the PC one. You can see my listing here:

    Oh and I’m looking for someone to hook my cd-i up to a digital recorder or something so that we can record all the video like a movie and put it together if anyone knows how to do that? I can beat the game in the correct sequence and all without a problem.

    July 25, 2009

    Shadwking81 said:

    Guys you can get the game off me last chance up on Ebay Burncycle for PC with both discs the game and the music one. Here’s the link:

    It expires/auction ends in like 14hours and I have it up for cheap too with free shipping.

    July 31, 2009

    jare said:

    Thanks sooo much, i’ve been waiting for playing this game since my childhood (18 years ago xD). THANKS!!!

    August 3, 2009

    Tim aka Shadowking81 said:

    Ok I relisted the Burn Cycle game back up on Ebay for 7 days if anyone wants it? Here’s the link:

    August 18, 2009

    Tim aka Shadowking81 said:

    Hey guys! My copy of Burn Cycle for PC didn’t sell last week on EBAY so I re-listed it once again. Seriously if anyone wants it you can get it off me for $10 with free shipping. I really don’t know how to run it on my PC and I’m not an expert in computer programs and such. I own this game on the Philips CD-i so I don’t need the PC one. Check out my listing on ebay here

    Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks! Oh and for the record: NO! This is NOT Spam!

    September 22, 2009

    Tim aka Shadowking81 said:

    Hey guys! My game ended up not selling so I re-listed it up on Ebay. You can get Burn Cycle for PC now off me for $10-12 bucks only and I’m throwing in some cyber punk dvd movies that were in some way inspired by Burn Cycle. Here’s the ebay link to it

    Message me on there if you have any questions. Thanks!!!

    August 27, 2011

    Cool Guy said:

    Finally it makes sense, been wondering what people meant when they lamented the awful graphics but I only ever played on the CDi so obviously I was missing something PC gamers had noticed.

    December 4, 2011

    Tim aka Shadowking81 said:

    Yeah man the PC version sucked. The graphics sucked, the sound sucked. It was terrible. The developers didn’t wait for Win95 to come out and take advantage of the graphics drivers and such. The pc version was a sorry MsDos excuse of a game. I too have the philips cd-i version. I’m actually composing music for a future concept album release based on the story of the game only with a better ending having cutter go back into a man’s body again lol

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