Thrust II (Firebird) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer


Thrust II
By Firebird
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2

 
Published in Computer Gamer #26

Is there life after Thrust? Yes, there's Thrust II!

Thrust II

Thrust I was one of the most successful games ever. Certainly it was the most successful budget game ever. It was based on the simple concept of inertia, one of the Laws of Physics that most games seem to ignore. The game as a ht for the Commodore 64, Atari, Amstrad and the Spectrum at budget price. It was also a hit on the BBC Micro at £8. Definitely a budget game of full-price quality.

In Thrust I, your 'Asteroids' type space-ship had to pick up pods from planetary surfaces and escape, while avoiding gun emplacements, blowing up reactions and coping with inverted gravity. All good stuff.

Thrust II has the same theme. You still have to guide your dart-shaped craft around, picking up pods on a tractor beam and worrying about the inertial reaction of a heavy object swinging about below you.

However, in this game things are a bit more awkward. The plot goes something like this: the war against the Galactic Empire (Boo, boo) continues, but the Federal Resistance (Hurry, hurry) has captured an artificial satellite called P2112 (shades of Rush here?)

This satellite is to be used as a forward base in the next offensive against the Empire (Boo, boo). However, there is a problem. Isn't there always? The satellite was not finished when the Federation nabbed it. The surface hadn't been properly terraformed and, as a result, is covered by a poisonous red dust.

To cure this, atmosphere processing plants (looking suspiciously like orbs) have to be dragged up from inside the satellite and deposited on the surface in special holders. However, each orb has a limited lifespan and will explode after a certain time destroying the planet.

Another problem is that the satellite wasn't pacified properly by the Federation and stuffed inside are various security systems whose purpose is to stop anyone exploring the satellite planet.

Your job is to go down onto the planet recover the orbs and deposit them on the surface in their special containers.

This makes the game into a mix between the old Thrust and an arcade/adventure/maze/problem-solving game. The planet itself has two holes going down into it and there are two orbs on the surface so you can get your eye in for the difficult stuff to come.

Down below in the depths of the planet, it is a maze and a map would be most helpful. Orbs are spread about at reasonable intervals and would be difficult to get to in any event.

The defence systems are a little bit tricky too, although there is a defence against them. Every now and then you come across a 'chemical agent'. This is a box that you can hover over - not too closely, mind you - and pick up with your tractor beam. When you have picked it up, the type of alien that it can destroy will show up on your status screen as well as a counter that counts down the life of the unstable substances that constitute the device.

When you have one of these agents, you can use your fire control to destroy all aliens of that type on screen at the time. Chemical agents can be used more than once but only while they remain active - they have a short life.

This game is a worthy successor to the original Thrust and contains all the aspects of the original and plenty more. The graphics are superb and the animation faultless and smooth.

There is no way that you shouldn't buy this game - at two quid, it's a steal!