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1988
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes

45
David McCandless
Chris Bourne

Remember liberating the five planets in Sidewize (I 't even get past level one, he moaned) and vapourising all the evil Darlard Mutants? Well, in Crosswize you're now taking a well earned rest and letting your legend ferment. So when the planet Luna comes under attack from alien forces, who does everyone expect to go in an kick ass? Yup, you.

Crosswize begins where Sidewize left off, and the game stands out instantly as something good: the slick presentation, the inspired graphics, and the fact that you perish almost as soon as you start. Yes, this game is H.A.R.D. (Highly And Really Difficult.) The colourful - yes colour! - landscape of rooftops glide (were talking Michael Jackson moonwalk here), along under you, while thousands of beeping aliens assail you from all sides. And these aren't your average every day, run-of-the-mill extra-terrestrials, that dumbly bounce up and down (oo-er), or stupidly zig-zag all over the screen either. These are your fast moving, bullet-breathing killers which spiral outa' nowhere to take you on... and win.

But all is not lost (until you have lost everything - Philisophical Proverb no 562), 'cos guess what's available? Uh-huh, extra weaponry to shove your meagre laser-beam in the shade. Smart bombs, spray guns, invulnerability, they're all there if you just fly into a flashing "?" icon and press fire.

However, even with these weapons the devious aliens fight back. Deadly bars emerge hemming you in, chimneys that spit bombs at you, nasty cross-firing boxes and ultimately the big nasty. Yes, at the end of each level you have to combat a big, fat, grotesque alien before you can load in the next level.

Crosswize is in no-way original, but it's the pure execution of the worn ideas that counts - and works, and it's a great game to watch. Smooth movement, luverlee explosions and detailed graphics make the screen really eye-catching. I especially liked the way your man looks so cool leaning back on his backpack, gun at hip, almost stifling a yawn as he casually blasts the next wave of nasty nasties.

Addictiveness? Is this game addictive? We are talking fail your exams, lose your job, break up your marriage, and even don't wash your hair type addictiveness. You keep pounding at the joystick, trying to get past that building to see what will kill you next. Have another go, and another, just one more, and another, one more time...

Supa'-doopa' graphics, arcade style difficulty, and faultless programming make this game a classic - on a par with Zynaps.

9/10
9/10
9/10
9/10
9/10

Screenshot Text

Here's the big alien mother at the end of level 1. Those arms you see shoot out at right angles, and it takes millions of shots to dent it.

Here our dead hip hero is about to dispatch some bubbly aliens. But where's the next attack coming from?