Acorn User1st June 1990
Published in Acorn User #095
If it moves, shoot it. If it doesn't move, shoot it anyway!
As far as I know, Nevryon is the only R-Type clone to have appeared on the BBC. For those of you who haven't been into an amusement arcade in the last year, R-Type was the first in a very long line of sideways scrolling shoot-'em-ups featuring numerous aliens and upgradeable ships. Nevryon goes a long way in providing this type of game.
Spread over four levels, each with two stages, you must battle your way through the alien defences with your lowly spaceship. Each level is harder than the last and comes complete with an 'end of level fortress' that must be destroyed piece by piece.
As a rule of thumb, if it moves shoot it; if it doesn't move shoot it anywy! Ground-based defences shoot laser bolts, launch fireballs or fire missiles, but can be destroyed after a number of hits. Mobile aliens, on the other hand, only take a couple.
Dispatching enough aliens will release a flashing pod. Collecting this will increase your destructiveness in some way - rapid-fire lasers, a battering ram (although it does look more like a chicken that's been stuck on your ship!), a gun droid and missiles are gradually added. These final two are almost essential for annihilating the fortress.
The game can be played at three speeds (I found the fastest was easier to play) and at five skill levels (I must admit I stuck to 'Timid'!). A system of passwords is employed to start at later levels. This I certainly needed, as I got quite definitely stuck on the second stage. Losing all your energy destroys your ship and returns you, unequipped, to the start of the level, which does become rather frustrating.
The scrolling is acceptable, although rather jerky at times - but then the game is running on a Beeb! Good use of Mode 5 colours is made with plenty of nice 'metallic' and 'organic' effects.
The only problem with the graphics (apart from the chicken!) is the laser bolts - the only difference between yours and the enemies' is colour, which does become a trigle confusing at times.
The game is disc-based, and slow to reset at the end of each game. I would like to have seen a Sideways RAM caching system.
To sum up, a very good Beeb game that will keep you occupied a good number of evenings.