Personal Computer News


Super Skramble

Author: Bob Chappell
Publisher: Terminal
Machine: Commodore 64

 
Published in Personal Computer News #028

Confined Warfare

If you don't suffer from claustrophobia, enjoy low flying and positively welcome mass attacks by missiles and meteors then you'll feel at home with this version of Skramble, the arcade classic.

Objectives

Piloting a ship low over mountainous terrain, you must bomb enemy missile bases and helicopters and evade and shoot down whooshing rockets. Destroying enemy fuel dumps is a must as your own reserves are mysteriously replenished by such action. Surviving this barrage brings you to the cave where the ceiling and floor rise and fall. Meteor storms and a skyscraper city must also be weathered; altogether a total of eight sectors to be safely navigated before you reach the ultimate goal - the enemy's command centre.

In Play

Movement up, down, forward and back is controlled by normal joystick movement (or by the keyboard, if you like). Pressing the fire button releases one bomb and a rocket. You don't get another until the first has exploded. Below you, smoothly scrolling past, is an undulating terrain, dotted with fuel dumps, enemy missiles and helicopters. At the bottom of the screen, score, sector, ships left, and fuel left are displayed. The fuel meter is a rapidly decreasing number, not easy to keep an eye on when the action is frenzied - a graphic bar would have been easier to see.

Super Skramble

It is essential that almost every single fuel dump is destroyed as your starting supply is rather ungenerous. Running out of fuel is all too easy and has your ship plummeting out of the sky. I think the game has been made just a little too difficult by the comparative scarcity of fuel dumps - no doubt others will think it's a doddle.

The enemy rockets and helicopters are very well done and the cave impressively claustrophobic. A meteor storm is your next obstacle - these cannot be destroyed, so you must dodge and hope. The dangling carrot of the enemy command centre at the end keeps you trying.

Verdict

Super Skramble is a pretty exciting game. Well implemented with beautifully smooth scrolling and very nice graphics - shame about the strange ship. Good value for money and comes in an attractive video-style case.

Bob Chappell

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