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Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Firebird BleepLoad

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Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

Uragedding fed up with Uridium clones? Well, you inter-galactic zapperoonies you, here's one under the moniker Ultima Ratio from those good ol' rock steadies of the budget market, Firebird.

The pan-Universe war has waged for 33 years and in an effort to break the bloody deadlock, the Evil Empire has unleashed Ultima Ratio, a nine stage battle platform with defending fighters, pulse guns and battle shields. With Mother Earth itself threatened, your kamikaze task is to destroy this platform of peril all on your lonesome.

Each of the nine stages is laid out in stickle brick squares, over which you fly to find the most direct path to eliminate the enemy. Make sure the colour separation is sussed on your TV cos some of the objects merge disconcertingly in the otherwise luridly coloured sectors. Anything that flies is hostile so zap on sight - though some need bigger doses of mega-death than others.

Because you can't fly on to following platforms until you've annihilated everything, you'll need to replenish both shields and fuel repeatedly, and they're found secreted about the stages. But beware - in your zapping about, watch out for direction reversing devices which waste an awful lot of time.

An onscreen countdown from 100 gives your time allowance per screen and you have five lives to play with. Scores go into the mega 1000s, the graphics and screen scrolling are okay for a cheapie, but it lacks the essential quality of a zowie shoot 'em up - it should be faster, faster, faster, pussycat. Alright for superannuated star fighters.

A nine stage battle platform which you alone must kerpow! to save Earth. A docile cosmic arcader from Firebird.