Sinclair User28th February 1987
Published in Sinclair User #62
Right. Here we are then. The follow-up to Zub. And Zub - as regular readers will recall - was totally fantastic and was awarded a Classic for it's sheer gameplay and general wonderfulness.
Amaurote is set in the future. It's all about a city and a bunch of insects. Having stumbled upon a new compound that acts in a similar way to concrete, the builders of the future set about building vast cityscapes made of the stuff.
Technology being what it is, there was a vital flaw in the chemical construction of the concrete-substitute. It emitted a strange form of radiation that, while virtually undetectable, caused strange things to happen to the insects...
You get hired by the city - now overrun with enormous insects - to sort out the mess.
The sub-plot of the game involves your continual battle to stay under budget. You can purchase more bombs, or repair your walker should it become damaged by alien attack. The more you spend, the closer to the budget you sail and going over-budget is severely frowned upon by your controllers
Graphically, Amaurote is superb. Your walker, which looks a bit like a grapefruit on legs, struts about the cityscape with pleasing speed. The legs work in a similar fashion to those of a spider - all four sort of jump inwards and push outwards. As you reach the end of each screen, it will flick and move to the next. Jerky scrolling and long delays are nowhere to be seen.
By hitting Fire, a sphere-shaped bomb will pop out of the top of your grapefruit and bounce along in the direction you were last traveling. Should you be fortunate enough to destroy an insect, a graphically impressive explosion is your reward. If, however, the bomb rolls further and hits a building, you'll be in trouble. You're not being paid to knock down inner-city decay.
The landscape is in twenty-five sectors and, each is occupied by a queen bee which must be destroyed before progressing to the next sector.
Amaurote is technically superb. The graphics are superior to many £9.95 titles and it's very, very big.
The biggest problem is that you can't use a joystick. I admit, too, it didn't immediately grip me in quite the same way as Zub.
It has an appeal all of its own and I'm sure I'm being churlish in not giving it a Classic.
Still, for £1.99 you can buy it and judge for yourselves.
Brilliantly programmed and ludicrously cheap. Maybe lacks addictive qualities once the initial amazement has gone.