Worming its way through space is a long chain of gigantic cylinders, an artificial world inhabited by alien beings.
As usual the aliens are bent on destroying the Earth and all its inhabitants. In a moment of bravado you foolishly volunteer to attack and destroy the alien planet.
WAR uses the screen in an unusual way: The title screen is retained once the game has loaded and a small window opens up within it.
This vertical rectangle is the playing area, and although it appears to be impossibly small you soon forget its dimensions as you get on with the job at hand - mindless destruction.
Your task is to strafe each cylinder to render most of its ground installations inoperative. Once a cylinder has been immobilised in this way you move on to the next and start gain.
After about five cylinders the sequence repeats itself - with no increase in difficulty.
The graphics are high resolution black and white, the ships and backgrounds are highly detailed and smoothly animated, ground installations are shown as shaded squares and must be destroyed: Anything taller than a shaded square is to be avoided. The background features are given depth by clever use of shadow.
The cylinders are defended by four types of droid, each having a different movement pattern or speed of attack. Your ship can manoeuvre in all four directions as you fly over the scrolling background.
By moving to the very bottom of the screen you can gain that extra fraction of a second needed to dodge or destroy an aggressor.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the programmer for providing such a rapid rate of fire when the appropriate key is held down.
The first set of screens can be mastered with about 30 minutes practice. The reverse of the cassette contains a new set. which are made more difficult than the first by the inclusion of a large number of obstacles.
Rather unsportingly Martech gives you no way of distinguishing between flat and raised objects so you spend a great deal of time exploding for no apparent reason - this soon becomes intensely annoying.
W.A.R is a good game which has difficulty levels of two extremes. Had Martech pitched the difficulty level somewhere in between it would have been a stunner.