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Domark Ltd
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Steve Keen
Chris Bourne

No other coin-op emptied my pockets as fast as Xybots did. Even to this day I'm not quite sure why. Graphics were average, sound minimal and there wasn't much new on the playability front. However it had a feel that no other coin-op had.

The Spectrum conversion stays very faithful to the original indeed. The object of the game's to guide one or two space mercenaries through a vast underground complex combating the robotic droids that patrol the 3D corridors whilst scanning for any nasty humans to exterminate.

The screen is split into two halves with the option of simultaneous play. Depending on which half you're looking at your view will be from behind your player looking forward with your companion in the same view in this mode the action can get pretty complicated, especially in later stages, as the players are not easily distinguishable from each other.

Some of the droids drop energy pods when they are shot or just leave them lying around. These are the life's blood of mercenaries and must be used scrupulously. Weapons are also randomly dispersed and are compulsory for survival. Some of the corridors are linked by warp gates and all levels finish with a warp to the hardware store where you can spend your collected credits on low energy loss, second shot, and a host of power up items.

Controlling the space commando is often frustrating as to turn left or right you must hold down the fire button and then move the joystick, very tough if you're in the middle of a laser fight and you're suddenly facing a brick wall with 15,000 watts up your bum.

Xybots is still great fun and progressing through the levels a challenging business. Few people will live to see the king Xybot (without a cheat), but I recommend that you all try.

Label: Hit Squad
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape, N/A Disk
Reviewer: Steve Keen

An original looking game that won't disappoint fans of the coin-op. If you've got a comrade in arms handy the fun factor is easily doubled.