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Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Dave Nicholls, Ross Holman, Roger Willis
Chris Bourne

Dave: Design Design has taken vector graphics to a stage where the speed of the game is limited by players' ability rather than hardware restrictions.

The game itself is basically a derivative of the Star Wars arcade game, with the trench section missing. Your task is to rid the universe of nasties by flying your spacecraft, called the Liar, through the galaxy and down on to occupied planets where you have to destroy the enemy bases: these consist of defensive rings of towers that must be shot or dodged.

Planets can have more than one base; in fact, some planets also have spaceports and energy dumps on them. Spaceports don't have to be destroyed, but the energy dumps replenish your energy supplies and become vital after a while as there are 256 sectors to clear!

Dark Star has a very versatile menu system allowing the game to be customised; for example, the speed and accuracy of the alien weapons (as well as the keys used to control the Liar) can all be changed to suit your own requirements. Unfortunately, after the novelty of the blindingly fast graphics has worn off, the game becomes rather repetitive and loses most of its appeal. Hopefully Design Design's next offering will be a game instead of a programming exercise. 3/5 HIT

Ross: An incredibly fast Star Trek variant, with the emphasis on arcade action. Setting the game controls to 'devastating' and turning off all the alien's missiles makes the game much more fun! 3/5 MISS

Roger: Graphically clever stuff for the naturally trigger-happy. Apprentice gamesters will be able to hone their reaction times to perfection. 2/5 HIT