Another game from the well-known Ultimate team. Having enjoyed their last creation very much, I ripped open the cover in eager anticipation.
First thing you will notice is that there are two cassettes. Ultimate have thoughtfully provided a cassette head cleaner. The inlay card has a nicely detailed illustration as usual and there are plenty of irrelevant mythical stories of a lost valley between the purple mountains... which finishes off with "This story is continued by playing this most Advanced Home Computing Action Adventure Simulation. Fare thee well. (Is AHCAAS supposed to mean anything?)
The actual program is very larger and takes a very long time to load. This is further aggravated by the fact that a Mode 1 title page is loaded in before the game. A disc version would be welcomed by many people.
When the game does finally load and you press the Space Bar, the main character materialises in the middle of the screen, accompanied by wobbling antibodies. These can be collected and fired at various hideous-looking monsters who are hell-bent on your destruction.
The animation is the best I've ever seen on the BBC. As you move your character, a very detailed background landscape scrolls behind and the overall effect is extremely impressive.
However, I ended up wandering about, occasionally shooting at random monsters without really knowing why. In all, Nightshade is just like Alien-8 and Knight Lore with better graphics and the puzzles taken out. If you're an Ultimate fan, then you'll love it. Otherwise, it's definitely a case of try before you buy.