Stainless Steel (Mikro-Gen) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

Stainless Steel
By Mikro-Gen
Spectrum 48K

Published in Computer Gamer #17

Join Ricky Steel in his first adventure

Stainless Steel

Join Ricky Steel in his first adventure

Ricky Steel is a perfectly normal teenage superhero. Normal in that he has a steel arm and an extremely slick car. The car in question is called "Nightwind" and is in fact a Class A101 hyper alloy combay vehicle fitted with rapid firing, double-barrelled energy bolts and uranium thunderbombs that can be dropped when Nightwind flies. A perfectly normal teenage superhero.

In this new Spectrum game from Mikro-Gen you play Ricky in a four part game as you battle against the invading alien hordes of the infamous Dr Vardos to stop him achieving his ultimate goal to conquer the Earth.

Before you can really start blasting Dr Vardos's minions into dust you have to get to Nightwind which is at the end of zone zero.

In the centre of the screen display is a scrolling top view of the part of the zone you are currently in. Below this is an alien scanner that shows the position of the aliens in the present zone. On the left are two gauges showing current fuel and bomb levels and on the right is an alien counter and a bonus score counter. This is added to your score when you complete a zone but beware as if it becomes negative, you can forget about that high score.

In zone zero, Ricky has to walk through a barrage of alien helicopters, tanks, jeeps and zeppelins before he even gets to Nightwind. Luckily he can defend himself with a portable laser which can cut down the enemy in any of eight directions. Unfortunately the slightest touch from one of Dr Vardos's minions will be fatal as will their bullets or even the edges of the screen. Any of these will cost you one of your four lives that are each represented by a heart.

It will take you several attempts to get through this screen, even in the easiest, aptly named Easy Peasy level, but eventually you'll find Nightwind and head for zone one.

Zone One is a simple wipe out everything that moves game in which your twin energy bolt lasers will get some heavy use as you must cut your way through more helicopters, missiles and gun emplacements, since you drive through this entire zone you must ensure that you don't drop one of your uranium thunderbombs by mistake or you'll blow yourself up. You also have to keep a careful track of your fuel gauge as a life will be lost if this runs out. You can refuel by simply colliding with fuel tanks that float around the screen. Unfortunately I always manage to shoot them as they come on the screen.

In Zone Two Nightwind takes to the sies and not only battles with planes but must also bomb android submarines before you can finish the zone. The problem with the subs is that, if they submerge you can't get them, so you have to turn back for another run which may leave you exposed to a missile attack. Maybe next time Ricky should fix double-barrelled energy bolts to both the front and the back of Nightwind.

Finally in Zone Three, Ricky is back on foot again this time, hunting down Dr Vardos himself. However, there are still a few androids around so Ricky will have to be on his guard as he searches the rooms and archways. Find and destroy Dr Vardos and the game is won.

Stainless Steel is just the first of a series of Ricky Steel adventures planned by Mikro-Gen and has a "Spy Hunter" sort of feel to it. The action is fast and furious and will drive you back for more. The swapping from foot to car ensures that each zone poses a different challenge.

The graphics are good especially the screen scrolling which is exceptionally smooth, as is the animation of the aliens, my favourite being the helicopters.

Once you have completed the game at the easiest level then you can up the stakes and fight more and faster aliens at the three higher levels.

Stainless Steel is available for Spectrum computers from Mikro-Gen and costs £7.95.