Personal Computer News


Author: Mike Gerrard
Publisher: Imagine
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Personal Computer News #027

Robot Rampage

They may be good or bad, but Imagine's games are guaranteed to be different, which sometimes makes them difficult to describe. Zip-Zap has you controlling a robot floating around in outer space, avoiding aliens and gathering four fuel cells which enable you to transport to the next sector. There the whole business starts all over again with different-shaped aliens. The aim, of course, is survival and high scores, for which there is a record.


The robot you control is a Buddha-like figure that is beamed down a hollow column of light, otherwise known as the Tele-portal system. Once that has retracted you are floating about on a screen that is swimming with aliens, and which also contains the four fuel cells you must collect together. For once this is a game where you have only one life, and you survive for as long as you have energy left. You start the game with 99 units, indicated near the top-centre of the screen, and as this gets low your speed of movement is reduced, but energy is replenished slightly as you complete each sector.

In Play

The aliens can be either shot or avoided by manoeuvering... I would have said nifty manoeuvering, but neither keyboard nor joystick offers you too much control over your robot. If you want it to head in a particular direction you must try and stop it rotating at just the right point, when it will come out of its circling and go forwards in a straight line till you rotate it again. It's difficult enough trying to explain this in writing, but doing it is even worse. The graphics are first class, there's no doubt about that, with 32 different types of aliens, as you progress through the screens, which I only managed courtesy of a special review copy which permits such a feat.


Outstanding graphics unfortunately don't make up for the lack of control you have over your character. Why on earth there couldn't have been a straightforward up-down-left-right movement to avoid the nasties and get about the screen I don't know.

Mike Gerrard

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  • The Saga Of Erik The Viking Front Cover
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