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Martech Games Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Gareth Adams
Chris Bourne

The Universe is nearing destruction - a minor calamity you may avert by reaching the Interstellar Lake of Protozoic Slime at its centre. But your CZ Neutrozapper has just failed its MOT!

En route screensful of creatures are out for your blood, and the number you must destroy on each to progress is shown screen left. The Neutrozapper has a defensive shield. and a photon canon with limited reserves (and unreliability after prolonged use), energy reserves for both, and weapon temperature, being indicated at the top.

As your Neutrozapper's systems are likely to go kaput, malfunctions are indicated in a panel on the screen's right-hand side. To continue, the craft's circuit board must be punched up and repairs made, but as there's no maintenance manual and you can't tell a hyper warp grommet thruster and a hephalump's rear end apart, you've only got your wits and skill to complete repairs. Burnt-out circuitry is replaced by spare parts with the correct colour coding, which can be chosen from the onscreen display and placed in position in the circuit. A countdown indicates how much time there is to make repairs. If it runs out you and your craft explode and the hopes of the Universe die with you.


'You won't have seen the film... There is no book... Now find out why! (It's 3D blasting fun!!!)' announces the inlay. I'm sure any publisher or film producer worth their salt would instantly recognise this for the piece of unpolished trite that it is, and promptly sling it through the nearest window. The uninteresting gameplay is further marred by slow, messy vector graphics, and on the later levels attribute problems make an appearance. The sub-game has the feel of an O level teaching aid - again colour is poor and UDG characters are used to represent the components. Definitely not a Cosmic release from Martech.' BEN

'Batt le Of The Planets all over again. Except this time it's much, much worse. Cosmic Shock Absorber's controls are very unresponsive, and I had great problems with the cursors - they just didn't seem to do anything. The graphics are tolerable if you don't want to see what's happening - The circuit mending is about as addictive as its party game basis.' PAUL

'I needed an absorber to get over the shock of Cosmic. It's a pitifully basic shoot 'em up with a few add-ons. The keyboard response is appalling, making play near impossible.' GARETH

Control keys: Q-T/A-G up/down, Y-P right, H-Enter left, bottom row to fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Use of colour lots of colour clashes
Graphics: generally small and unimaginative with UDGs
Sound: simple 'blip' EX
Skill levels: one
Screens: repair screen and vector graphics levels
General Rating: Outdated shoot 'em up spoiled by poor graphics and control response.


Screenshot Text

Another fine mess! Your CZ Neutrozapper's just failed the MOT and there's the Interstellar Lake of Protozoic Slime dead ahead.