Commodore User1st November 1986
Published in Commodore User #39
P.O.D. has no pretentious storyline and no mega-reality to justify its existence. It's just a very addictive shoot-'em-up with sixteen levels - increasing in difficulty as you blast.
The instructions are the most sensible I've ever come across. How about this for incoherent drivel:
"You control POD (who else?) around the screen, don't stay in the corners (unless you're dumb). This is a rough one, in the unlikely event of you achieving a good score, the high score table will record it for you."
I've also noticed that Mastertronic have changed their game packaging, it's quite an improvement. Luckily they still use the fast and reliable Novaload loading system. Pity there was no loading screen to gaze at though.
In about one minute flat a high score table popped up with a catchy tune pinkering away in the background at high speed. I thought about the insult in the instructions as I got ready to start play. I don't want no game with a name like POD showing me up.
A matrix-like grid appeared, but the lines were more spaced out. A few aliens zoomed across the top of the grid in a line, they bumped into the side and descended one grid line. I let rip with the Fire button, only to find out later that POD has auto-fire built in - good job an' all - my thumb was feeling it.
Phew! That was fast. My hand started to sweat as I was awarded a bonus and an extra POD (up to a maximum of 5). The next screen was similar, but a few more different types of aliens joined in. This didn't help my POD's any, it can only fire four rounds at a time and only up the grid.
On later screens the game speeds up. The aliens become more suicidal and begin to shoot more accurately.
The kamikaze aliens made me get greedy, the more they rained down the more they bit the space dust. I never let go of the Fire button, well there are about twenty odd bullets to dodge and later on the aliens start playing kiss chase [POD ain't tht handsome surely - Ed].
Because of POD's incredible speed, the aliens are only one character in size. The big shock comes when you notice how smoothly the game plays, especially at top whack.
This is Mastertronic's answer to all of those Minteresque 'grid' games that are appearing at full price. For two pounds it's not half bad.