Mind Games
Stephen Ward
1986
Arcade: Maze
£9.95
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Power-Load

38
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

The mindgames titles from Argus have often resulted in journalistic U-turns.

Alien, for example was largely dismissed, until a couple of months later. As people began to play it the game slowly grew in status.

So, perhaps it will be the same now with Mission Omega, which at first look seems relatively unexciting.

Mission Omega is a maze puzzles game on a grand scale except that strategy and advance planning count for more than turn-on-a-sixpence instant reactions.

As for plot, here's what Argus have to say: Codenamed 'Omega', it simply came out of space. No-one knew anything about it, but it threatened the civilisation of mankind! ignore all that stuff, here's the simplified version: baddie thing that looks like a giant maze; you have to use robots to search it because it's radioactive and try to shut down the reactor which will blow up within the hour.

In Stage 1 you design a robot and throughout the game you must design additional robots and send them into the field. Robot design means careful consideration of what features are most important: firepower is useful but drains energy and may be heavy, different legs can support different loads and so on. As you play the game it so becomes apparent that at different points you will need different sorts of robot.

Most of the maze is hidden from you until you actually trace your way though it using one of your robots. You can see what areas of the map have currently been uncovered by referring to a map where known areas and the current positions of your robots are indicated.

Parts of the maze may be 'jumped' using matter transporters (well, flashing squares anyway), other parts are blocked by laser screens which can be switched off by blasting at switches (usually) located in the vicinity.

Organising the robots and finding the routes through the maze. These are the prime elements to the game. If you enjoy planning and strategy games this is unusual and challenging. You even get to blast a few things as well, instrument panels. Sound is equally minimalist. Don't buy the game if these factors matter to you.

Label: Mindgames
Price: £9.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

****

Another enigmatic offering from Mindgames. Definitely for strategists but patience is rewarded.

4/5

Screenshot Text

The four ready constructed robots supplied with the games. Use them or build your own. Each of the four has its own strengths and weaknesses.

GRAPHICS

Visually the game is nothing too special, the icons are reasonably interesting, the maze absolutely plain, empty apart from occasional flickering.