Play It Again Sam 14 (Superior/Acornsoft) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

Play It Again Sam 14
By Superior/Acornsoft

Published in The Micro User 8.10

One more time...!

Superior's long running affair with the BBC Micro continues to go from strength to strength as Play It Again Sam 14 hits the screens. Three full-price best sellers and an all-new arcade adventure constitute one of their best compilations so far.


The first stars that master of monosyllabic mayhem Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his more interesting films, Predator. As big Arnie you enter uncharted jungle and pit your muscle and terrestrial firepower against the cunning and extraterrestrial weaponry of the Predator.

Four horizontally scrolling levels lay between you and the alien, so the chances of spotting him are pretty slim. However, the chances of him finding you are very good, as you will soon discover.

Much of your time is spent gunning down enemy troops and flocks of vultures, but every now and then the screen will darken and a cluster of three dots will appear. These signal your impending death as they are the Predator's gun sights.

All things considered, the film's atmosphere is recreated to good effect in this top notch blaster.


Ballistix is the 1990s version of a game called CROSSFIRE, a hit way back in the dark ages when people thought that PONG was a pretty neat video game.

By firing balls at a puck you drive it towards your opponent's goals. Score three goals and you win, concede three and you lose. Simple.

Variety is introduced with the addition of walls around which you must guide the puck, and tokens that initiate random events when hit.

Ballistix is a fun game requiring a little more thought than you might first imagine - though you soon find out that the rapid fire button technique is the quickest technique to notch up a hat trick of own goals.

Superior Soccer

Moving on from one ball game to another we have Superior Soccer, which mixes the strategy and tactics of Player Manager with the best action of the arcade football games.

In true to life fashion the management side of the game is dominated by money. Without cash you cannot afford to buy fresh, skilful and strong players, and without such players you cannot pill in big enough crowds to earn the big money.

You must therefore play a waiting game, resting your good players when necessary and slowly work your way through the divisions.

Choosing to play the arcade game only dispenses with the league table and leaves you free to play soccer against the computer or a human opponent. The micro is equipped with ten skill levels and on most of these you'll be beaten.

In my experience, the quickest way to the top of the division is to concentrate on the management game and leave play to the computer. You'll score more goals that way.

Star Port

Game number four is called Star Port and is the latest arcade adventure game from the author of Quest and Camelot. The program follows the usual format for this genre: Search the Star Port to find five cases of medical supplies. While doing this you have to also destroy 500 points worth of robot guards and solve a series of unreasonably difficult numeric puzzles against the clock.

Star Port is a good game that holds it own in this illustrious company, and is in no way a stocking filler.


Once again. Superior can do no wrong in their continuing domination of the BBC/Electron software field.

Jon Revis

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