Mark Betteridge
1986
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes

70
Clare Edgeley
Chris Bourne

Surfing through the galaxy, propelled by your thrusters, you scour the surrounding space scene, not knowing what is going to happen next.

Yup, Ultimate's done it again. It's released Cyberun with no instructions, no hints on what to avoid - blue saucers and revolving horseshoes are particularly vicious - and no tips on what to look for. All you get is a long history of Zabarema, Cybertron and Cybernite - which isn't a lot of help.

The first thing is to find the vertical and horizontal thrusters, without which movement is like swimming through a sea of syrup. These can be 14 found near your start point and are vital to the search for - well, you'll have to work out what!

There are hoards of aliens floating around and those are joined by shooting stars and meteors. Avoid these as they wear down your shields and you'll explode. Not good. Blue ones should be avoided at all costs, one collision and you're a Cyberun gonner.

The landscape is mountainous with almost vertical slopes. Difficult to fly up and avoid the aliens at the same time. On top you may find a volcano. Hang around and something may happen. In the valleys are the entrances to a maze of caves and tunnels. Here the Cybernite Crystals gleam though they are not easy to collect and the plasma ray may come in handy.

Lurking in space, among the usual interstellar debris, are platforms bearing photon torpedoes and a plasma ray gun. The torpedoes look just like bullets and behave in a very strange manner - make sure you don't bump into any as they whiz around.

The clouds drifting aimlessly by are also vital to your mission. They tend to clog up your spacecraft, but they also need to be harnessed at one point in the game.

The graphics are pretty sparse and there isn't an awful lot of colour, presumably because there are depths to the game which you'll only see if you work out the puzzles.

I spent ages flounding around - there's an awful lot to do but you don't know how - and I found Cyberun, initially, very frustrating. Only after a while did things start to make sense and fall into place.

Cyberun offers quite a challenge, more so as there are no instructions other than a lengthy storyline. Some extra hints to start would have helped.

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: Ultimate
Price: £9.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, cursor

***

3/5