Hoverbod (Minerva) Review | Acorn User - Everygamegoing

Acorn User

By Minerva
Archimedes A3000

Published in Acorn User #075


The third game from Minerva sees a venture into arcade adventures. It makes you the eponymous Hoverbod. Your aim is to hover about, collecting diamonds from each of eight levels, and gain access to the final, super-level - 'The Quest for Wings'. Feathers must be collected from around the maze to make your wings.

There are a number of meanies to stop Hoverbod. They float around the screen, killing on contact. There are also a collection of traps and blockages to impede Hoverbod's movement. Portcullises drop down, blocking any return route, and one touch of an overhead spike proves fatal.

Generally, the whole screen looks attractive and well laid out. Various icons are arranged around the screen, including an oxygen tank that shows the amount of time you have left, and 'Hoverbod' is displayed on the screen in a font not unlike that designed and used by the famous fantasy artist Rodney Matthews.

The game, like Minerva's previous releases, is written almost entirely in Basic. The Mode 12 display allows lots of shading effects on pipes, spheres and the like. Sprites move pretty smoothly considering the program is in Basic. But there is one point where Hoverbod appears to split into two and flicker quite violently around the screen. And the meanies speed up when you move! This really shouldn't happen on any program written for the Arc.

Sadly, controlling Hoverbod is difficult, with hovering very unpredictable. Sometimes you are able to hover left and right, but as soon as you float over a hole in the ground, you plummet to what is more than likely your death. I know it's exactly what would happen to, say, a hovercraft, but I found it annoying.

In order to destroy the Ibby-squiblies, you must have a gun. This can shoot left, right or both ways, as indicated by some arrow icons. But sometimes you can shoot both ways when only left or right is indicated. Other failures of attention to detail make gameplay less than absorbing. With a little more thought and time spent on tidying up the loose ends, perhaps, Hoverbod could have been a much more enjoyable game.

Robert Miller

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