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1984
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£5.50
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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86
Chris Bourne

Having said in last month's issue, that after Starblitz, there wouldn't be much point anyone else doing a 'Defender' game, it's always worth being able to say that you've changed your mind if someone proves you wrong, and Interstella have come up with a 'Defender' well worth changing minds for.

It is a classic version with green landers, purple mutants, mine layers, pods, swarmers and humanoids. Your ship is equipped with a powerful laser and three smart bombs. Destroying a lander who has grabbed a human will earn you points, but you'll get more for catching the human before it falls back to earth. Humans falling from a great height blow up when they hit the ground, but they tend to be safe if it's only a small fall.

There is the obligatory radar at the top of the screen and the ship has the customary facilities of reverse and hyperspace.

CRITICISM

'An excellent copy of the arcade original with detailed and fast aliens. The ship behaves very realistically, especially when slowing or reversing direction, when it slews backwards for several inches before gathering speed in the other direction. Colour is well used and the sound is average for this type of game. The keys are well positioned, which is important in a "Defender." A brill game.'

'The game is played with the usual attack waves, each screen bringing more and varied aliens as hazards. The graphics are very fast and smooth, lovely laser blasts and explosions, especially when "you" go for a burton. I was disappointed with the sound which is non-existent during play, the only explosion sound being when your ship is destroyed.'

'Lack of sound makes this version a fraction less exciting to play than the Softek one, but I thought the graphics were actually slightly better, and that makes up for it. The keys are well thought out and the radar is quite accurate. If you like the thrills of a classic arcade game, then this is a very good buy.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: T to Q=up, V to Z=down, G to A=reverse, P=fire, O=thrust, H to ENTER and B to SPACE=smart bombs
Joystick: Kempston, ZX 2
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: smooth, detailed, fast
Sound: fair
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: 3

General Rating: Very good.

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Screenshot Text

Smooth graphics for Defenda help defeat the pods, swarmers, mutants and landers.