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Topo Soft
1988
Arcade: Action
£2.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
Alkatraz Protection System

51
Marcus Berkmann
Chris Bourne

It's not often that Kixx releases an original game, the label mainly being concerned with recycling old US Gold and Gremlin games (and a v.good job it does too). But for some reason our Spanish chums have a small problem being taken seriously in this country, 'cos it's amazing how many games of theirs crop up on cheapie labels when there's a chance that they'd have done just as well at full price. Still, that's to our benefit if not theirs, as games like Colosseum sometimes crop up. The idea's fairly straightforward - you're a participant in a death-at-all-costs chariot race around the colosseum, and for obvious reasons (you like staying alive), it's rather important that you win. To do so you must negotiate four circuits of the track, taking care not to smash into any boulders or specially built walls as you go round, and should you come up abreast with any other charioteers, you must fight them to death (usually yours). You start with a mere hatchet, and by killing charioteers with better weaponry and then nicking what they drop, you gradually upgrade to a lance, which kills instantly.

Now I'm not going to pretend that this is the most original or profound game I've ever seen, but it's an awful lot of fun, and quite difficult at first. The chariot sprites are huge and detailed, and the gameplay is fast, well balanced and thoroughly engrossing. Which means that at three nicker this is a bargain and no mistake, guv. Worth a punt, I'd say.

8/10