Stryker's Run/Codename: Droid (Superior/Acornsoft) Review | Electron User - Everygamegoing

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Stryker's Run/Codename: Droid
By Superior/Acornsoft
Acorn Electron

 
Published in Electron User 4.12

Electron users have done it again - top software house Superior Software has been pressured into converting its top selling BBC game Stryker's Run to the Electron. It has also converted its brand new, block-busting follow up Codename: Droid, Stryker's Run Part 2.

Stryker's Run

Stryker's Run
Stryker's Run

Stryker's Run (Part 1) is a commando style shoot-'em-up featuring some of the most outstanding graphic backgrounds seen on the Electron. You control Commander Stryker and your task is to guide him through enemy lines back to the Allies' headquarters to deliver top-secret information.

The game-play is straightforward - you can run left or right, jump and duck. As you reach the edge of the screen the next one flicks up after about half a second. Crossing the battlefield you'll pass beautifully drawn cities, wrecked buildings, graveyards, burnt tree stumps, hills and mountains. It's amazing how much is crammed into the game.

Initially, the only weapons you have are a pistol and a pocketful of grenades to fend off the enemy Volgan troops and helicopter gunships. The troops can be despatched with either a bullet or grenade, but there's no defence against the helicopters' bombs - you run for your life.

As you progress through the screens you'll find a stubby, wedge shaped aeroplane. You can climb in the cockpit and zoom off. Then you can bomb the enemy troops and have a crack at shooting down the helicopters.

There's only a limited amount of fuel however, and you soon float gently back to earth (that's if the rocket launchers don't blow you out of the sky first!).

There aren't many sound effects and the animation is a bit flickery at times, but overall it's a good game and well worth the money.

Codename: Droid

Codename: Droid, the follow-up to Stryker's Run, is a different game altogether, and it held my interest much longer.

Codename: Droid
Codename: Droid

Commander Stryker is back, the war is still raging and you must take him on another dangerous mission into occupied territory, this time on the planet Volga.

Your objective is to steal the Volgan's latest weapon - a spacecraft fitted with a revolutionary matter/anti-matter warp drive. This is stored underground and you must pass through rocky caverns, leaping from boulder to boulder, climbing ropes and plunging down shafts on a fast moving lift.

This is merely the surface defence. If you survive this there is an ancient shrine, the crew's quarters and a missile factory to negotiate.

This sequel is more complex than its predecessor and there is far more to the game than simply blasting your way through each screen. For instance, you can't use the lifts unless you have the correct pass and your pressure suit and laser pistol need recharging constantly. If you can't solve these immediate problems you won't get much further than the first few caves.

There are around fifteen different objects to collect, including energy cells, spanners, fuel for your jet pack and security passcards. In addition, there are buttons to press and switches to flick, though I must admit I haven't found these yet.

Microfilm cassettes are useful as they contain maps of the current level and include the Volgan guards' positions. This enables you to plan your route ahead.

You have a wrist terminal computer which can be activated at any time to check on your status. Here, you can recharge your suit and blaster provided you have picked up an energy cell.

The animation is good and slightly faster than Stryker's Run, though the scenery is graphically simpler, but it does scroll rather than flick when you reach the edge of the screen.

Stryker himself is capable of far more actions than before. He can now run, jump, climb up and down ropes, kneel and crawl through narrow crevasses on his stomach. And it's faster to boot.

Verdict

Stryker's Run is good, but Codename Droid is brilliant and deserves to do well. Reserve a place in your arcade collection immediately and start saving - it's worth every penny.

Roland Waddilove

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