Destructo (Bulldog) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Bulldog
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #48


Some people simply can't bring themselves to throw rubbish away. Take Mastertronic, instead of hiring a Skrappo mini-skip and dumping all their duff games, they go and publish them on a different label - Bulldog 'Best of British' Software. Destructo may be cheap, but 'best' it certainly isn't.

Dr. Destructo is one of those crazy cookies that plan world domination from the confines of budget games. You, as the pilot of a crummy little bi-plane, must stop him by spending a few hours in a mindless trance, zapping his assortment of graphically interior flying thingies.

There are 21 screens of this brain-numbing stuff to endure, until Dr. Destructo calls it quits and goes off to devote the rest of his life to organic gardening.

The first few screens each feature one of Destructo's battleships, above which his little planes buzz around like flies around a mouldy pork pie. You buzz around too and try to shoot them down. As they fall from the sky in a blaze of fiery scrap metal (it doesn't look quite as spectacular as that) they crash onto the ship. Enough hits and the ship springs a leak. Keep on zapping until you've sprung three leaks and then watch the ship go down.

Screen two: keep on zapping until the ship goes down. Screen three: keep on zapping until the ship sinks. Screen four: keep on zapping until the ship goes under. After a few more ships, you get to the buildings. Buildings don't sink, they crumble.

To make things that bit more exciting, some of the blue bits are occasionally substituted for black bits. The blue bits in question are sky and the occasional black bits are also sky. This cunning programming feat gives you the impression of night-time flying. As the screens progress, Destructo's planes get nastier and some of them actually crash into you and make you lose a life.

There are a few curious things about this game. Like your plane which can be controlled only in its direction of flight - it keeps on going whatever you do. Fly it into the briney and it miraculously reappears at the top of the screen. Fly off the left side of the screen and you reappear on the right.

Most curious of all is the way the succession of ships go down. They shuffer as they go. I've never seen a ship shuffer before. Thanks, Mastertronic.

At least there's a two-player option in which you can use teamwork to overcome the boredom. At the end of each screen, you get a points display for each player, and a blast of music that isn't half bad as budget-tunes go.

I reckon that, underneath it all, Dr. Destructo is a really nice bloke. And I think he wouldn't be half as mean if somebody put him in a decent game for a change.

Bohdan Buciak

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