S.O.S. (Mastertronic) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Mastertronic
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #43


Sydney the droid is in big trouble and so is the scientist, Foley, who sent him on mission 2000.

The job was simple enough. Just fly over a ruined city and take some pictures. Too simple in fact to send a billion dollar biomech-1 droid, particularly if you haven't taught him how to fly the plane. Naturally he crashed and now Foley is in big trouble because if he loses the droid he loses his kneecaps.

Luckily, Sydney has a standard survival kit and has you to guide him through the maze of the ruined city and to his radio which he can then use to call for help. Unfortunately, the city is not as deserted as you think and is patrolled by droid eating robots and his path is constantly blocked by fences, barriers and weeds.

Sydney is controlled by either joystick or keyboard but uses the more difficult rotate left, right and forward method rather than direct control. This shouldn't hold you up too much and soon you'll have Sydney hopping through the maze that occupies only a fraction of the screen. Below it is a panel that displays your lives left, energy, score and number and type of objects found.

To get past the fences, barriers, weeds and giant computers that block all the important routes you need to find the correct objects. For example, to get past a barrier you need a ticket that can be got from a ticket machine as long as you've found a coin to pay for the ticket. That gets you past one barrier, for the next barrier you need another ticket and so on.

Just when you think you've got the hang of it and are beginning to learn and avoid the robot's routes, the screen goes dark! At times it goes completely black as night descends. It soon gets light again but during that time it's too easy to walk off the path and into trouble or straight into a robot. Consequently, you must interrupt your main quest to find somewhere safe to stand and wait for morning. This adds a new twist and life to the old 'find-the-objects-to-get-through-the-maze' game.

As cheapos go, this is a fairly standard affair to keep you going for a few hours. Only bored arcade adventures need apply.

Tony Hetherington

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