Galaforce (Superior/Acornsoft) Review | Acorn User - Everygamegoing

Acorn User

By Superior/Acornsoft
Acorn Electron

Published in Acorn User #053

Collaborative Competence

This is the first game to carry the prestigious dual Superior/Acornsoft logo, said to be the culmination of three months of negotiations and travels.

Both software houses have produced several excellent shoot-'em-up games in the past, and Galaforce is another. It's played invader-style, by controlling a ship equipped with auto-repeating cannon, which moves left and right at the bottom of the screen, while wave upon wave of ships attack in 'Zalaga-style' formations.

A neat touch is the ability to alter the colour combinations to suit your own TV or monitor - particularly valuable to those of us who do at least some of our computing on the old black and white portable - but, all in all, playing Galaforce is rather like listening to yet another aging rock group - very smooth and professional but with none of the raw energy and originality which makes you sit up and take notice, enthusiasm renewed.

Unfortunately for folk like me with access to an Electron at home and a BBC Micro at work, BBC Micro and Electron versions are sold separately, instead of on a double-sided tape. However, a labelling error meant I was sent a BBC Micro version for review on my Electron. I subsequently exchanged this for the correct version, so I have played both.

The BBC Micro game is more tuneful and of a satisfyingly infuriating level of difficulty, while on the Electron, the sound is poor, and the invaders' timing distressing naive. If you can position yourself in the correct spot for each wave, they just line up to be zapped.

Though Superior now sell more copies of the Electron versions of their games, the packaging of Galaforce is, as usual, BBC Micro orientated. The cassette version comes in a double-cassette box - you feel you've been fooled into buying one cassette instead of two, and the box doesn't fit cassette storage racks.

Galaforce is, then, an unpretentious 'get them before they get you' game. However, if you want another one of this genre, you'll find the game better than most of the others around at the moment.

Bernard Emblem

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