Superior Software's policy of buying up other companies for their software is having a noticeable effect upon the quality of its Play It Again Sam... compilations. Its already impressive games portfolio has been swollen with top titles from Alligata and Micro Power - some of which are found in this volume.
The Superior reissue program moves ahead, this time with only Elixir representing the firm's past output. This, you may recall, was a kind of platform and ladders game, involving moving the hero around numerous shelves in his laboratory to collect vitamin pills. It sounds strange; I thought it was strange.
More interesting, perhaps, are the other three games which it is nice to see back in circulation. Let's look at Pace's Fortress, for example - a great conversion from the arcade hit (sorry, Elk owners, you get Micro Power's Moon Raider instead) by Matt Newman. A Zaxxon-type (as I can recall) diagonal screen game where you must fly avoiding missiles, picking up fuel and generally having a great time. One of the games that I still return to often.
Next up is another quite bizarre number - the evidence of Micro Power's short-lived return to the Beeb market, Imogen. Rather ignored since its release, the game has much to commend it - a rather complex arcade adventure borrowing heavily on Ultimate-style graphics and it's interesting, I think, that we've heard no more of the coder Michael St Aubyn since. For those of you who missed it first time around, do have a look. You might be surprised how playable it is.
Which brings us to oldies corner - Alligata's Bug Blaster - an average Centipede clone. Presumably picked up because of Superior's purchase of the Alligata back catalogue, it rather lets the compilation down. Nothing outstanding, but nothing disastrous - how even-handed can you get?