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Ian Rich
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Touring the arcades a few years ago was an arcade game of the name, Discs of Tron. Discs of Death is a version of the highly popular arcade game. Based upon the disc fighting sequence in the film Tron the idea is to topple an opponent off the platform he's standing on while evading his attempts at toppling you.

The two competitors face each other across a bottomless Pit and hurl discs at one another. Each competitor has a row of three platforms and can jump from platform to platform to avoid being hit by his opponent's missile. Each player has three discs to hurl across the void, and they work rather like boomerangs, coming back to the sender if they don't hit.

You view the arena from behind the player you control, looking across the perspective view and aiming your discs with a cursor that moves left and right on the wall behind your opponent. When you release a disc it homes in on the cursor and either hits the enemy, in which case he dissolves into oblivion, or it comes snaking back to you hand automatically. You disc can score a hit on its way to the back wall or after it has rebounded and started for home.

The three platforms you can leap between to avoid your opponent's discs hover automatically above the perilous drop but fortunately the program is kind enough to save you the worry of timing jumps between platforms carefully. You can't fall off! You can shuffle left and right on the platforms and when you get too close to the edge you leap nimbly and automatically across the gap if there's another platform in the direction you're moving.

If the opposing fighter lets lose a stream of discs heading directly for you, it's possible to avoid death by using your shields. They are limited in supply, but very useful as while they're activated all your opponent's disks will bounce harmlessly off you.

As you tot up a pile of corpses, you find successive competitors are made of sterner stuff, and take more effort to vapourise. As the sheets progress the scenery changes as well: some screens contain two platforms instead of the normal three.

Other hazards are introduced such as force fields, and there's no shortage of willing challengers, eager to meet you across the pit.


'Even though this is an arcade clone, with all the hard work of design having already been done, leaving the programmer to copy what he's seen. Artic's copy isn't that good. The graphics are of a low standard and the animation of the man walking across the platform makes him look he's shuffling rather than bounding athletically across the platform. The movement of the discs themselves, as they fly across the arena isn't bad but they do tend to flicker a little bit. Really not a very impressive or outstanding game in the final analysis. And at the price, worth a miss.'

'This game is of a lower quality than most budget software. The blocky graphics may have been passable a couple of years ago but they look very poor compared to today's standards. Sound is fairly well used, although the 'tune' or whatever the noise on the title screen should be called, is exceedingly infuriating as you can't turn it off. Gameplay is monotonous and unvaried and it wasn't long before l was bored with it. Generally, I wouldn't recommend this one, as it is very primitive and not at all compelling. '

'There aren't many games of this type on the Spectrum and as far as this one goes it is quite playable. The graphics are crude and tend to flicker a lot, which lets the game down terribly. The biggest problem with the game is that there is a distinct lack of variation. This makes it unaddictive and after a while quite boring. I'm sure Artic can turn out better stuff than this. On the whole it is a bit of a let down but it may appeal to some.

Control keys: cursor keys
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: slow and difficult
Use of colour: clash and gory
Graphics: undetailed and very jerky
Sound: almost non existent
Skill levels: 3
General Rating: Tired old arcade clone that's far too late.


Screenshot Text

Spin the disc at your opponent in Artic's DISCS OF DEATH, and all the while you have to try to avoid your opponent's discs which are spun at you. Three platforms for you to dodge between and the pace is fast and furious.