This is the sixth package in the very popular Play It Again Sam series. Superior seems to be turning out these polished compilations at a rate of about one a month. The pack contains four great arcade games, two golden oldies and two newcomers.
The first title is Hunchback, a classic from the early years of arcade machines. in it you take the part of Quasimodo and you must scale the battlements of a castle to rescue your beloved Esmeralda.
You start off on a flat wall and as you run across from one side of the screen to the other a boulder flies towards you. A quick tap on the RETURN key and you safely leap over it. As you reach the other side, the screen flicks to reveal the next.
Here a pit bars your way and you must run, jump and grab a swinging rope in order to cross it Tarzan-style. On to the next screen. Now there are small pits that can be jumped with a single bound. However a boulder flying towards you must also be dodged.
The next screen features guards with spears who stand in pits and attempt to jab you where it hurts as you leap over them. And so it goes on. There are three levels and eight screens to negotiate and you practise by opting to start on any particular screen.
The graphics are excellent, but the sound is sparse. I found it to be highly entertaining and frustrating, having that "just one more go" addictiveness.
Hopper dates back to the earliest days of the Electron. The idea is to guide a frog across a busy road, over a dangerous river to your home pond, all within a time limit. As you progress through the levels the amount of traffic on the road increases and dodging the vehicles becomes more difficult.
You must be the only frog that can't swim, for when you cross the river you mustn't fall into the water, Floating logs can be used to step safely across, and you can ride on the backs of swimming turtles - watch out as they occasionally dive and you fall into the water and drown. Crocodiles patrol the river and their favourite snack is frog.
There is little depth to the game compared to many recent arcade adventures, but in spite of this it's fun to load up and play every now and then.
Galaforce 2 is the sequel to one of the best shoot-'em-up Galaxians type games ever seen on the Electron. The action is fast and furious as aliens stream on to the screen, swirl round and let loose showers of missiles.
Armed with your trusty laser base you wipe out wave after wave. Movement is mainly left and right, but some up and down leeway is permitted, allowing you to get 'em rather than waiting for them to come to you.
Capsules drop down the screen every now and then and these can be collected to provide you with extra firepower and more lives. The graphics are superb.
Finally in this compilation comes Video's Revenge, a sort of Planetoid set on its side. You are in control of a ship flying through space and hordes of aliens fly down the vertically scrolling screen. Needless to say, all are hostile and shoot carefully aimed missiles in your direction as they approach.
You can see what's coming by taking quick peeks at the long range scanner which runs down the right hand side of the screen. On this each alien is represented by a blob so you can't tell the type of enemy craft.
Some aliens are like seed pods which crack open when shot releasing half a dozen tiny craft. These little blighters can be quite a handful as they require a perfectly aimed missile to dispose of them.
Extra features are available in the form of an invisibility cloak and smart bombs. By blasting an enemy balloon twelve times and catching the energy pod released your firepower increases threefold.
Overall, Play It Again Sam 6 is yet another winner. The games work out at just under £2.50 each, which can't be bad. The quality is excellent, and though two of the games are re-releases of old titles, they are still fun to play. Recommended.* * * Second Opinion (By Janice Murray) * * *
Another superb compilation from the Superior stable. Every game is addictive and fun to play. The only problem is that I've already got the two re-releases. However, even discounting these, the other two still work out at under a fiver each, which can't be bad. I like it - and think you will too.