Atari User

Crystal Raider

Author: Niels Reynolds
Publisher: Mastertronic
Machine: Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/130XE

Published in Atari User #22

Crystal Raider

The card insert says this is not an arcade adventure, but a set of logic problems. Well, they could have fooled me.

To my mind Crystal Raider is basically a platform game in which you need to collect crystals which give you extra lives.

I think anyone who buys this expecting a set of logic problems may well feel disappointed, although the six screenshots on the card do faithfully portray the game style.

Crystal Raider

I really can't see why Mastertronic feels the need to imply Crystal Raider is something it isn't for the game is quite able to stand on its own merits.

As platform games go, this is a tricky one and you will have to plan your route through the screens carefully and time your jumps well.

Movements are left, right and jump, the latter being maintained as long as the fire button is held down or until you hit a ceiling.

Crystal Raider

Throughout the jump, your Raider (who more closely resembles a portly navvy than the macho Indiana Jones character on the cassette cover) can be moved left or right, whether moving upwards or downwards, and indeed this extra coordination is necessary to get through many of the screens.

You can select day or night play and opt for solo or duo roles.

The night game is very tricky, as apart from the crystals and nasties, only a small adjacent area is visible, the rest of the screen being jet black.

Selecting dual play, one player controls left and right movement, the other times the jumps, offering an opportunity for ending many a long standing friendship.

The graphics are adquate, though repetitive, with little variation in the rooms apart from layout.

Perhaps recognising this, Mastertronic changes the rooms' background colour each time the Raider expires (through lack of oxygen or contact with a nasty) and for each new room.

On the whole this is a fair variation on the platform theme. If I had paid £10 for Crystal Raider I may have been disappointed, but at £1.99 this is good value for the platform fans.

Niels Reynolds

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