Volcanic Planet (Thorn EMI) Review | Crash - Everygamegoing


Volcanic Planet
By Thorn EMI
Spectrum 16K

Published in Crash #1

Volcanic Planet

It is your task to destroy the evil race of Zerans, who live on the volcanic planet of Zeras. To do this you must make your way through an underground metropolis to the depths of the city, where you will find a volcanic plug. If you can plant your plasma bomb there, you will blow up the planet. But you must make your escape before the city fills up with lava. Okay?

The Zerans resemble purplish coloured amoebas and they scutter round the city complex in company with their much bigger staves. Often the Zerans will ignore you, but they may try to crush you. 'You ' resemble a little black spider.

There are five skill levels and depending on which one you select there are between 3 and 15 levels to the city. The display shows you only a tiny part of the whole complex (of one floor). There is a map at the top right hand corner of the entire floor you are on and looking at it gives you a headache! It's huge.

Volcanic Planet

Your protection is a suit or armour which wears down as the Zerans fire at you. When it's gone the two other systems, power and bio system, become vulnerable and you die if they fail. Your blaster has plenty of charge, but that too runs down with use. These four are shown as falling bar codes at the bottom of the screen. Here and there in the maze you will come across various objects like tool repair kits and spare oxygen, but you must be quick because a Zeran will take them if he gets there first.

To go to another floor you must find the lifts, which are going up and down all the while. When you enter one (wait for it to arrive at your floor) you can activate it but you won't know whether it's going up or down, only the indicator at the left of screen tells you this. Entering an up lift on the top floor replenishes all your armour and power. Lifts only connect between 2 floors, otherwise it would be too easy.


Keyboard positions: a lot of keys to use. Direction is a bit odd; 6/7 left/right, 8/9 up down. Zero fires blaster. 5 operates a lift, 4 plants the plasma bomb.
Joystick options: Kempston, Sinclair
Keyboard play: very responsive in 8 directions
Use of colour: good
Sound: none
Skill levels: 5
Lives: 1
Screens: 15

Comment 1

Volcanic Planet

'This is a very complex and complicated game to play. The graphics really are very good, colourful and very smooth, with 8-directional movement and continuous tire. The effect of the blaster is wonderful, great bolts of yellow mingled with red. It all has a satisfyingly violent feeling to it. My only complaint is with the keyboard layout, directional keys all in a line are awkward to use instinctively.'

Comment 2

'If you enjoy large mazes then this is bound to be a winner! The complex is massive and it's crawling with the enemy. Skill in moving and firing take a while to get together. The damned lifts don't help either with your never knowing where they're going. On the whole a playable and fairly addictive game with original looking graphics. But what happened to the sound?'

Comment 3

'I never find maze games enjoyable to play, but this game offers load of enemies to go round zapping (good blaster effect). What is good is the way the aliens get excited if you shoot one of their number. All the others visible on the screen start dancing round as though they were actually hopping mad! I never got anywhere near planting my plasma bomb, even on the lowest skill level - it's a game with plenty of playing scope. I'm sure it would be even better if there was some sound.'

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