Spectrum Spills Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

Personal Computer News

Spectrum Spills
By Channel 8
Spectrum 48K

Published in Personal Computer News #068

The thrill of the chase gripped Bob Chappell in these action games for the 48K Spectrum.

Spectrum Spills

The thrill of the chase gripped Bob Chappell in these action games for the Spectrum 48K

Infernal Combustion

Fighting raging fires hasn't figured in many games I can recall so this may be the first.

The scene is the inside of a multi-storey building, each floor joined by ladders. Scuttling around the uppermost floors are the occupants who appear to be in a bit of a flap. No wonder - fire has broken out on several of the floors.


Down on the ground floor, standing quite fortunately midway between a tap and a bucket, is our little hero. Grabbing the bucket and pausing only to fill it from the tap (this boy is no fool), he has to sprint around the building hurling water at the outbreaks. The idea is to extinguish all the fires and proceed to the next tougher screen where the arsonist has struck again.

While you are busy firefighting, the occupants try to make good their escape by fleeing, in their own haphazard, panic-stricken way, down to the ground floor exit. However, they can't get past any blazing area nor through any locked doors - you must help by opening doors and all this while nipping back and forth to refill your bucket.

The sample tape lacked a cassette inlay (still at the printers), so I don't know why strewn around the floors were several cans marked with an F, and other odd objects. Possibly for bonus points? From time to time, what appears to be a pink elephant cavorts across the top floor, but for what purpose I am unsure.


Should you come into contact with the flames, you are immediately turned into an angel, a fitting reward for your heroic efforts.

Despite having no instructions for play, I thoroughly enjoyed this game. Movement of the hero was just a trifle stiff in one or two places, but that apart, the animation and effects were of a pretty high standard. Quite addictive too. This original and entertaining arcade chase is well worth seeking out.


A funny-looking purple alien with a proboscis that Cyrano De Bergerac would have gasped at, Borzak is a stranger on a strange planet. The create has to stroll along the surface, dodging various vagaries of nature as he goes.


There are six levels of play, all much the same except for the hazards. Borzak has no defence systems and can only jump or duck to avoid oncoming traffic as he moves.

At ground level, he must avoid holes, large speckled frogs, snakes and grasping hands. About are flying ducks, dragonflies and dangling spiders. The game is quite good fun but difficult to complete without skipping levels since the hazards are generated randomly, often resulting in a combination that Superman couldn't beat, let alone a pacifist with a big nose. It's worth buying - Borzak's a lovely character.

Stop The Express

Chasing games have a habit of taking place either in a maze or somewhere dank and dismal underground. Bringing fresh air to this species is Stop the Express.


An express train has been hijacked by the Redmen (no, this isn't cowboys and indians). Your job is to make your way along the carriages, unlock the motorman's cabin and stop the train.

You control a cute, ginger-headed lad who starts out on the roof of one of the coaches of the moving express. Hang about too long and the first of many Redmen (similar to our hero but beetroot coloured) appears on the scene and hurls a knife.

Fortunately, not only can you duck down but also run, jump and (your trump card this) release a snakebird. With a bit of luck, the latter will knock any pursuing Redmen off the train to earn you as respite. You run along ten coaches, leaping gaps, dodging birds and tunnels, until you can safely climb down into a carriage.

Stage two has the Redmen as before, aided and abetted by strap-hanging nasties and bouncing objects. You can also do a bit of swinging on the straps. I never survived this stage and so didn't reach the driver's cabin. The only drawback is that there are nine keys controlling your hero (each with an alternative) - playing with a joystick (ZX II interface only) which makes it easier.

Graphically, the program is superb. The train's headlong rush and the animation of the characters are delightful. Sound effects are minimal but with such an original environment and exciting action, this has got to among the top ten chase games.


That's enough wind through your hair; now down to more familiar territory with Orion.

Back in a maze country, you control a small rocket-car which has to roam around 25 caverns in search of stolen androids. Each cavern is an aerially-viewed maze, populated by creatures and four of your androids.

Green meanies must be avoided as they are lethal on contact unless your shields are activated. White meanies are quite nutritious but gobbling one up causes your scanner to malfunction, making the wall of the maze invisible.

A simple game with decent graphics and sound, it won't set the world ablaze but offers a good chase, nonetheless.

Bob Chappell

Other Spectrum 48K Game Reviews By Bob Chappell

  • Astronut Front Cover
  • BelChem 2 Front Cover
    BelChem 2
  • 1984 Front Cover
  • Buggy Blast Front Cover
    Buggy Blast
  • Corridors Of Genon Front Cover
    Corridors Of Genon
  • Moria Front Cover
  • Currah Speech Synthesiser Front Cover
    Currah Speech Synthesiser
  • Monty Is Innocent Front Cover
    Monty Is Innocent
  • Sam Stoat - Safebreaker Front Cover
    Sam Stoat - Safebreaker
  • Superchess 3.5 Front Cover
    Superchess 3.5