Sinclair User11th July 1988
Published in Sinclair User #79
I've often seen games that people have praised for being 'ahead of their time'. Ultimate released loads of them. But there's no way this game could be described as 'ahead of it's time'. I can't even see how this could be called 'The game of today'. 'Maybe last week' or 'Didn't I see that on a 16K speccy at the 2nd Microfair' are slightly more appropriate. If Addictive have tried to recreate the look, feel, even the smell of the old 'collect this to destroy that so that you I lean get to the other' 1984 kind of pap, then they've done a very good job of it. If on the other hand, they've tried to write an original, fun arcade adventure that'll keep you coming back for more, then I think they need some new programmers.
But before I give you the lowdown on one of the worst full price games around at the moment, here's an award. The Alien Syndrome award for the worst packaging blurb goes to this game for it's precis of the plot. 'Deep within the labyrinth that is Metaplex, lurks Garth, sworn enemy of the Earth." Good stuff eh, and believe me, things don't get much better.
You, as a little roaming droid, have to destroy four power points before you can get to the hideous two-headed thing that is Garth. To destroy them, you have to drop acid on them. To get the acid, you first have to collect an empty flask, of which there are a limited number. Once you have a flask, you have to carry it to the acid room (!?!) where a large vat of dripping acid is positioned. Stand beneath the vat to fill the flask, and then take it to one of the four power points, and then drop it by standing over it.
Lots of nasties roam around aimlessly, occasionally deciding to mill about in front of you. Things like expanded spiders and ghosts fly about waiting to be shot. Occasionally you'll get the odd alien who'll shoot back, and I do mean occasionally.
Graphics are large and colourful, that I can say. The only problem is that they are all single colour sprites, and all different colours from the other sprites on screen, which gives rise to large amounts of colour clash. Also, some of the graphics look like they were created by graphic expansion, just like the graphics in games like Heavy on the Magick. Blockiness abounds. Everything moves about very smoothly, which is almost a redeeming feature, even though it doesn't add to the gameplay at all.
Basically there's no way this could be recommended. Try again, lads.
Tedious arcade collecty thing with some outdated graphics and gameplay.