Orion (Minerva) Review | Acorn User - Everygamegoing

Acorn User


Orion
By Minerva
Archimedes A3000

 
Published in Acorn User #077

Orion

After several tentative steps into the Archimedes game market, Minerva has finally come up with the biz. Orion falls safely into the 'blast everything before it blasts you' category. The one exception are the humanoids that inhabit the planet - of which you have been designated sole protector.

If all this sounds familiar, you're probably one of the thousands who have already spent many an hour zapping the pods, baiters and landers that inhabit the original Acornsoft game, Planetoid.

Orion shows exactly what makes a good game; addictiveness and playability. On top of this, the graphics are perfect for the game. Not complicated or fussy, but small and recognisable. All the sprites are nicely animated; especially the humanoids who wave frantically at you when being carted off by the landers.

The sound effects, though good, seem out of place in the game. Everybody knows that lasers don't make any noise, although one would hope that if they did, it would be something a little more exciting than a 'squeak'. Other effects sound as if they have been 'borrowed' from recent albums. Could this be the start of Stock, Aitken and Waterman on the Arc?

Gameplay is almost identical to Planetoid. One difference is that your ship slows down much quicker, making really tight turns possible. You have no excuses now! Minerva has even had the bright idea of using the same keys as on the original Beeb version. There is no facility to redefine them, although this should be no problem for the hardened Planetoidophile. That game was, and has, remained one of the most enjoyable and playable games ever on the BBC Micro. Being an almost identical clone, Orion is excellent and for my money, the best shooting game on the Arc so far. Even the current shoot-'em-ups on other machines, with their complicated scenarios and detailed missions, have difficulty matching this one.

PS. Do I get a prize for finding the cheat mode?

Rob Miller

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