Alien 8 was perhaps the most long-awaited game from Ultimate from the time of its first appearance as an advert. Due to the time scale it just missed review in last month's issue, so by now probably most fans will know all about the game and this review will be redundant. But perhaps not. Has Alien 8 caused another controversy? It looks just like Knight Lore a lot of people exclaimed, feeling obscurely ripped off. Now read, after the event (!), what the CRASH team thought about Alien 8.
But first, a brief word about the game. Indubitably, the graphics style is identical to that developed for Knight Lore, with the solid looking 3D graphics. Again, objects can be manipulated in a variety of ways to make life easier for Alien 8, a cute little robot who thinks in 8 directions but moves in four. As Alien 8 (making his first appearance in this month's Adventures of Jetman), you are aboard a starship which is slowing for its long-waited rendez-vous. The ship is full of rooms some containing cryogenically frozen beings. The object is to restore life to this chilly people before the time limit for arrival runs out. Life of course would be mechanically simple, were it not for the varied aliens penetrating the ship's defences. On top of that you must locate replacement packs for the robot, and work out what helps you to do what and when.
The rooms are necessarily more space ship-like than those in the dungeons of Knight Lore, but again blocks and pedestals are piled up in puzzling configurations, often hiding unpleasant spikes and pyramids. Some blocks move under their own power, others may be moved, and many dissolve on their being touched. As the light years tick away to zero, the pace becomes hectic...
Control keys: alternate bottom row keys left/right, A,S,D,F to move forward, Q, W,E,R to jump, top row to pick up/drop
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair 2, Cursor type
Keyboard play: the various key options are easy to use and response is very finely tuned
Use of colour: the single colour per room allows for good line graphics
Graphics: excellent, varied, characterful and very smooth
Skill levels: 1