Ocean Software Ltd
1986
Arcade: Platform
£7.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

31
Jim Douglas
Chris Bourne

Finally! At last! Eventually! it's finished! The game for every would-be vigilante and boys called Marion. Cobra lumbers on to the software scene - a heavyweight in every sense of the word.

Just in case you were fortunate to avoid the whirlwind of media hype surrounding the film, I'll give you a low down on the plot. Crime has got a bit out of hand in America, and the cops just can't cope. Tied down by laws that let criminals go free, the boys-in-blue have their hands tied.

Roll on Marion (Sly Stallone), a big lad with a tight T-shirt. He'll right the wrongs, catch the crooks, help the innocent and positively rake in the box-office takings.

In the movie, Stallone wasted absolute hordes of bad-guys, spraying his machine gun all over the place in a bid to make the streets a safe place to walk. In the game, you sprint along walkways, avoiding death which appears in a number of ways.

Amongst the foes that you encounter are large men with knives, flying missiles and women armed with rocket- launchers. There are also some very mysterious pram things which whizz back and forth across the screen. I guess that they are a mere hindrance, and something not to be blown away, as each time one hits Marion, his arms wave about a bit, and he looks distressed.

Initially, your first line of defence is your head. Running around the walkways of the city, Marion will butt anything in sight when you hit the fire button. The only problem is managing to get within butting range before the target looses off one of their weapons. If you're too slow, you will end up running directly into a missile.

There are three sections in the game: city scene, rural area and factory. In order to get more impressive and effective weapons, you must collect beefburgers. Obvious, isn't it?

Your ultimate aim - apart from being able to claim having killed an absurd number of misfits and social dropouts - is to rescue the top "fashion model" Ingrid Knutsen from the arch-villain The Night Slasher (boo!).

Although involving a lot of running around and shooting things, the program would be better pretending to be a straightforward shoot-out instead of a movie. The screen scrolls around, and the lllWIIW movement is quite smooth. Some of the instructions are quite ridiculous - "If you try to kill Ingrid she may wander away". The music is OK though, and fits the 'style' of game very well.

Label: Ocean
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

***

Cobra is just what we all expected. Not great, it's pleasant enough, and not as disastrous as most licence deals.

3/5