Amstrad Computer User1st December 1988
Published in Amstrad Computer User #49
GRAB a misshapen spaceship, move around a labyrinth of rooms buried inside an asteroid, shoot the nasties, collect four empty bottles, go to the tank room, fill them with acid, drop them on the power supply to shut it off, find Garth, the evil dictator who is planning to take over the Earth, shoot him and escape via a hatch. That summary conceals a surprisingly complex game in the style of Nont... Nonterra... Soul Of A Robot.
The main restrictions on your movement are air flows, electric fields, moving barriers and charged walls. The key to progress is the security control unit, which allows you, among other things, to shut off the air supplies, turn off the electricity, stop the nasties from moving and strengthen your laser so that it can penetrate the moving barriers.
The security control unit has various terminals scattered around, and these are activated by you landing on them. But to make things difficult, shutting one thing off may turn on several others which you don't want!
There are also laser and shield refill units, bonus blocks which give you extra points, and the occasional well protected empty bottle which you must pick up and fill with acid.
You have nine lives, which rapidly disappear because your shield doesn't last long. There is also a time limit - the acid tank leaks and will empty before every bottle is filled if you take too long.
At any price, the graphics and sound are excellent. A catchy title tune and good effects, instantaneous flicking between screens, huge aliens, smooth movement and colourful backgrounds: No problem with a green screen. The screen is split between modes 0 and 1, with the action in colourful low resolution and the status information in medium resolution for clarity.
Presentation is good too, with a high score table and excellent animated instructions which show you what everything mentioned here looks like on screen. A budget game that isn't a lazy Spectrum conversion.
A run of the mill idea livened up by some excellent graphics. The more remarkable feature is the length of time taken to draw a screen - milliseconds, rather than seconds.
An ideal game for apres-hacking. Switch your brain off and blast away.