THE MYONS are back again, after a year or so of inactivity, with Codename MAT II, another epic saga of alien-zapping from the mind of Derek Brewster.
This time it's a grid of satellites you are defending from the rotten galactic sprites, which power the Karillium mines of Vesta, without which substance millions will never... well, stuff the scenario. It's the zapping that counts.
The game has a terminal case of the beam-me-ups. Your spaceship has lots and lots of gadgets like ion engines, plasma guns, two scanners, and so on. All good solid stuff bought cheap off an old episode of Star Trek. They need a lot of keys to operate.
The screen shows the standard cockpit view, and an array of instruments. A smaller screen in the corner can be set to show the whole grid, or sector scans, or a detailed account of the status of your ship. Damage can be repaired by two droids which operate while you play.
Death comes when your shields are penetrated, or your lasers overheat, or something equally vile such as drifting about with no engines left. At the end of each wave - there are eight, repeated with more nasties for a total of 256 - you can repair satellites, your ship, or move satellites around to try and maintain the most efficient grid.
Despite its creaky concept, the game is mightily addictive. Later waves of aliens become both cunning and ferocious, spreading themselves thinly to attack as many satellites as they can, or grouping in force and homing in on you. Touches like that, plus damage reports and the need to make tactical decisions about the repair droids or where to warp to next, certainly increase the illusion of being a middle-aged actor with a spreading waist and an abiding love of ultra-rational Vulcans.
Joystick: Sinclair, Kempston, Cursor