Home Computing Weekly20th August 1985
Published in Home Computing Weekly #126
Remember the old arcade game where you have to shoot at a screen full of rocks, flying saucers and ever more fiendish devices, until they eventually beat you and your spaceship? Well this is the Amstrad version - but what a version!
I wasn't impressed until I realised that the rocks which fragment as you shoot them, were in 3-D and rotated about two axes, not just round and round. Very classy. Neither was I too keen on the sound until the single voice tune stopped to be replaced by some very superior sound effects, explosions, blast noises and so on. I became even keener on the graphics when screen two was eventually reached. The colours and more advanced saucers and aliens made it really compelling. Movement is generally very smooth, but there is just a hint of flicker when scrolling, rotating, and exploding are all called for at once.
I was, however, impressed from the outset with user facilities, not only redefined keys, but also the facility to choose certain options. Thus you can choose smart bombs, or hyperspace, or shields, or flips, or reverse thrust... you name it, in order to defeat your foe. One of the best demo modes yet seen accompanies a hi-score table that's not entirely impossible to join.
For me, the welcome lower price and the sophisticated implementation make up for the lack of originality in concept. If you like shoot 'em ups, you'll flip!