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Virgin Games Ltd
1988
Arcade: Adventure
£7.95
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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86,87
Mike Dunn, Nathan Jones, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Dan Dare's nemesis, the Mekon, has returned. Having escaped Dan's earlier attempts to defeat him, the runaway Treen has been slaving away in his lab to produce a squad of SuperTreens who are at present contained within Plexiglass lifesupport bubbles in the Mekon's battleship.

Armed with only a blaster, Dan enters the vessel astride his jetbike and seeks to find these creations and destroy them. As soon as Dan blasts the first, however, a selfdestruct sequence begins. The time remaining until the resultant destruction of the battleship is shown at the bottom of the screen.

To escape a fiery death, Dan destroys all the SuperTreens on the current level - only then do the double blast doors between levels open to allow progress through the ship.

The SuperTreens and the spacefleet personnel are also involved in their own feud, and Dan can become caught in the crossfire. His vitality is reduced every time he's shot, and if his vitality reading goes down to zero, one of his six lives are lost.

There are four levels to be completed, and if Dan reaches the last, he finds a pod which is used to initiate his escape. Dan Dare II offers the option to play the role of either Dan or the Mekon, in which case the player must find, activate and eject the SuperTreens' life support boxes before the ship explodes.

CRITICISM

'Dan Dare II isn't really an improvement over the original. If anything, the graphics are worse: the colour is still pretty bright, but the Mekon seems to have lost his greenness (maybe he's recovered). It doesn't actually lack playability or addiction, although the innovation of the predecessor is lost in this latest incarnation. If you have Dan Dare, I would think hard before rushing out to buy the sequel.' MIKE ... 64%

'Dan Dare II is one of those games that only sees the light of day because the original was a hit. Fortunately there's variation in the gameplay to warrant its purchase, such as the option to play either character and the inclusion of some new hazards - being sucked into the ventilation system and so on. The action is a little more frenetic, and the graphics are of a similar standard to its predecessor. Unoriginal, but still enjoyable.' NATHAN ... 77%

'This latest offering from Virgin is very similar in presentation and graphics to the first. There is, however, a new starting sequence with a well-animated space ship zooming through the sky, and you have the choice of playing Dan Dare or the Mekon. The screens themselves are very detailed and the game moves so quickly it's difficult to keep a track on the action. There are tubes that you can be sucked down and massive crushers to avoid so, there's no time to stop for a chat! Dan Dare II is a really neat follow up to a classic game - just the sort of thing you need to start the new year off with a swing!' NICK ... 81%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: plenty of colour - but distributed without thought
Sound: pretty reasonable
Options: control of either Dan or the Mekon
General Rating: Mixed opinions, but generally considered to be a decent successor, if not exactly up to the standard of Dan Dare.

69%
71%
57%
63%
74%

Screenshot Text

If it's worth making once, it's worth Mekon twice: Virgin Games's Dan Dare II.