Personal Computer News25th August 1983
Published in Personal Computer News #025
Into The Valley...
You've probably never really thought about what you'd do if you were stranded in the South American jungle, being attacked by flying lizards, and with nothing to defend yourself but three rusty old cannon. No? Well, we now have the chance to get a bit of practice.
Terror-daktils comes from Melbourne House, which brought us The Hobbit, and the flying lizards in question do bear more than a passing resemblance to Smaug. You've been stranded in the valley time forgot after a plane crash, and you have to fend off 3D pterodactyls whose sole aim seems to be to... ah, land on you and stun you? Even killer lizards seem to be more user-friendly these days...
Once you've got through the plane crash and dawn breaking graphics - both very good - you see a 3D representation of a river valley, with your crashed plane to one side and a smouldering volcano in the distance. Up by the volcano the Terror-daktils are massing for the attack.You use one of your three cannon to pick them off as they come at you, and if you can last for six days, help arrives. The cassette sleeve claims you use a battered old pistol, and indeed you can whip your armoury along the bottom of the screen as if it was a pistol, but it's quite clearly a very large field gun.
You can move the cannon back and forth along the bottom of the screen, and change the elevation of the gun, so you can theoretically hit any point on the screen.
Fairly frequently one of the little blobs on the horizon peels off from the formation and, as it gets closer, turns out to be a very natty 3D pterodactyl heading straight for you. You get more points if you can hit one while it's swooping, but it's a lot safer dodging it and sticking to knocking off the ones parked up by the volcano.
If you slip up and one of the beasts lands on you, you're stunned for the rest of the day, and one of your three cannon is bent. If you can survive for six days, you've won.
The game's worth having for the graphics alone, but in addition to this it's good because it's a more thoughtful version of the invaders-type game. It doesn't move too fast, and you rely heavily on your powers of anticipation to survive.