Commodore User1st July 1989
Published in Commodore User #71
A "frantic, non-stop blast-'em-up set in the farthest reaches of Inner Space", it says here, and that is, unfortunately, the whole scenario. No invading hordes, no defence of the planet, not even an "only one pilot brave and good enough". This is not good enough. Don't people realise how difficult it is to write an introductory paragraph without a loony scenario to rely on? Ho well, on with the game.
Inner Space is, you may have guessed, a straightforward, horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up, with nine levels in a multi-load format. On each, wave upon wave of aliens will attack you. In addition there are geographical hazards, and the now obligatory end-of-level alien.
Should a complete wave of five or six aliens be destroyed, then a "pulsing energy capsule" will float towards you. If you collect it then the first in a row of icons at the bottom of the screen will begin flashing, indicating that a new weapon is available at the press of a button. Collecting a number of capsules without trading them in will give you better weapons to choose from. Failure to destroy any wave will result in the available weapon slipping one step down the power ladder, so it's important to be consistent. Not that it matters much in reality, as most of the weapons make little difference, except for the bizarre 'lose a life' weapon, which if used, kills you. Really useful, that one.
The parallax scrolling on Inner Space is excellent, and attractively done. Unfortunately, this is one of the very few good points about this game, as for the most part it is a hackneyed collection of ideas programmed with very little imagination. The graphics, particularly the backgrounds, are uninspiring and colourless, and the aliens aren't much better, for the most part being monochromatic or duo-coloured. The end-of-level aliens, often a showpiece of a programmer's skills, in this case are nothing more than large inanimate blobs, resembling nothing more much apart from an eggcup. The first level alien was repeated on level three, which seems to indicate that little time or imagination was invested when putting this game together.
This is also indicated by the large number of glitches apparent, for example, your craft sinks to the bottom of the screen without warning, or the game locks up for thirty seconds at the end. These are just the major ones which just make the game scruffy and unattractive.
An unimaginative shoot-'em-up which has the appearance of being rushed, and barely worth ten quid of anyone's money.