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Virgin Games Ltd
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

105
Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

Blam! Bam! Kapow!!! (Has he fallen down the stairs again? Poor old soul. Ed) No I haven't - it's megadeath time, you blood and battle fanatics. Action Force is a fast and furious - well, reasonably cross, arcade shooter from Virgins very own SAS software team, The Gang Of Five.

The game uses the characters from the toy soldier sets that go under the same general title. Like everything else, Action Force is also a comic, a TV series and a set of monogrammed bath mats, but the toys started it all off. So as Snake Eyes, equipped with a helipack and rapid fire rifle, you must fly across Botsneda, avoiding ground-to-air missiles and shooting out electrical generators and barricades. This isn't just to satisfy your own blood lust and whip up a huge points total, you're also clearing a path for the AWE Striker, with its crew of Flint, Lady Jaye and Quick Kick who must recover a hard disk of top secret info before it falls into enemy hands. Well, that's the excuse, anyway.

With five lives and eight levels of difficulty there's plenty here to occupy you. Most people though, want more out of a game than just being kept busy. Many of Action Force's features are echoes of other genre games, from Commando to Saboteur. Okay, originality's not everything, but for a full price game you do expect a bit more speed and zip than this has to offer - and there's not a decent explosion in sight! It's appeal, I'm sure, will be more to fans of the toys than to true arcaders.

Second-hand shoot 'em up masquerading as exciting toy 'n' comic licence. Not bad, but hardly gripping.

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