Icarus (Mandarin) Review | Electron User - Everygamegoing

Electron User

By Mandarin

Published in Electron User 5.09

While transporting a shipment of battle droids to the Andromeda system, the starship Icarus' master computer suffered a major malfunction. Having lost navigational control, the Icarus is on a collision course with the sun and if its matter drive explodes there will be an almighty bang.

Icarus is a one or two player game written by Julian Avis, the author of Dunjunz. By reducing the number of players from four to two, Julian has been able to double the playing area available to each player - and also reduce the congestion around the keyboard.

To reach the ship's computer you have to fight your way through 20 decks of droid-infested starship. Laser in hand, you blast away at the automation army. More astute players will soon notice that no matter how many metal menaces you destroy, their numbers remain constant. This is because reinforcements are free to enter the deck via the service lifts - your main objective must be the deactivation of these.


Great care should be exercised when blasting a lift as the highly polished doors will reflect your laser bolts. Not until you have de-activated every service lift on a deck will you be allowed access to the emergency lift - and the next level.

The duration of your solitary life is determined by a combination of factors, which are displayed as a series of bar graphs. Each player's damage and armour reflect the degree of injury that can be inflicted and sustained.

Charge affects the rate at which your laser recharges when not in use. The final graph is the one showing the state of your health. Allow this to reach zero and you'll no longer have to worry about the spaceship's appointment with the sun.

Your chances of completing the mission can be greatly increased by collecting tokens. Depending upon the type, they can be used to boost firepower, armour, or recharge rate. Credit tokens can be inserted into vending machines in exchange for health points.

The two-player option prevents Icarus from becoming a monotonous zap and blast game. Your way will often be barred by security coded force-fields and if two people are playing one can concentrate on cracking the code while his partner fends off the battle droids.

The only let down is the speed. Although it is normally quite fast, the game really slows when there are a lot of aliens on screen. A Slogger Turbo makes the world of difference.

As a one-player game Icarus is superb. Play it with a friend and you'll experience the excitement of true two-player arcade action.

Jon Revis

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