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Thalamus Ltd
1990
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

40
David Wilson
Chris Bourne

Look here, I'm going to tell you about a really exciting game. You pilot a spaniking little space fighter on a mission to protect Terra (that's Earth to us, Spec-chums) from oodles and oodles of nasty aliens. Blimey! Sounds thrilling, eh? And it is! Guess what it's called? Yes... R-Type! (Ho ho.)

Now let me tell you about this other game. You pilot a spanking little space fighter against oodles and oodles of different aliens (in this case the rather oddly-named Hsiffian Khanates!). Sounds equally thrilling, doesn't it? Well, I'm afraid it's not. It's actually a little bit useless. I mean, let's be frank, you can jolly well have as many weird 'alien names' as you like, but if at the end of the day you can't disguise the fact that the aliens they refer to are just squidgie little white circular thingies then you 'ain't got diddly squat'.

And such is the stuff of which Thalamus newie Delta Charge! is made. It's a horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up in glorious monocolour which lets you join the Damocles squadron (Damocles? Now that'd be a great game, ho ho!) in your battle against the 'Hsiffies', as I like to call the,. A particularly thrilling battle, this one, because in it you not only encounter packets of these Polo mint lookalikes, you also come across hosts of flying crates (you'll be able to recognise these bacause they're the squidgie white little square-shaped thingies). Shoot lots of bad guys and you'll earn enough credits to turn a couple of these crates into extra weapons (otherwise they're just spaceship-smashing obstacles for you to avoid!). Sounds spiffing so far, doesn't it? (I don't think.)

So what else is there? Well, there are seven different power-ups to collect for a start, including the usual shield, multiple fire and extra ammo icons, and not forgetting of course the, er, 'fish weapons from the Planet slot' (it sez here!) You can also get extra speed power-ups (which, considering the rate at which you spaceship moves, will probably prove a huge asset). And, um, that's about it. I can't really think of anything else to write about this game actually. (How about the fact that Thalamus didn't commission this Speccy version of its old C64 game Delta at all, but has just published something an independent programmer called Jason McGann came up with off his own bat? Ed) Oh, well yes, there is that.

Look, maybe I'm just getting a bit grouchy in my old age. Perhaps some people could squeeze some fun out of Delta Charge! and the best of luck to them. But can this game really be from the same people who brought us Sanxion? (I mean, okay, Sanxion wasn't graphically brilliant either, but it did well in the gameplay stakes, something conspicuously absent in Delta Charge!). The way I see it, there are a hundred and one shoot-'em-ups out there that are miles better than this one, and seeing this released really is a significant step backwards for Speccy technology. Come back DNA Warrior, all is forgiven! (Well, almost all.)

Now if you don't mind I'd rather talk about some more interesting things called 'Delta'. Hmmmm, let me see. Tonight on Sky Movies (as I write this back towards the end of April) we've got that crap film Delta Force with a very old Lee Marvin as an American command rescuing hostages from a hijacked plane in Beiruit (sadly the reverse of real life events, fact fans). Um, Then there's my full-sized pinball machine which I've got in my bedroom, the Bally 'Delta Queen'. Oh, and there's the Mississippi river delta down New Orleans way, home of crawfish gumbo and serious boogie-woogie music, and... (That's enough more interesting things called 'Delta'. Ed)

Delta Charge - the game that makes DNA Warrior look like R-Type (ie it's a bit crap.)

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Screenshot Text

Eek! Your little ship is about as fast as a very tired snail, so this 'giant spinning Catherine Wheel' thingie is bound to get you! (Nothing like a bit of defeatism, eh, Spec-chums!?)

Phew. Space wars were never so frightening. Quiver as you encounter hosts of sort of white circular things. (Yawn.)

Oh no! It's a squadron of white squares! Perhaps one will contain a 'fish weapon from the planet Zlot'"