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1989
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

80,81
Sean Kelly
Chris Bourne

We've given you a Megapreview!! We've given you a playable demo!! In fact, we've given you everything except a review. So here it is!!! We're too good to you, we really are.

A monster is heading Earthward with the intent of absorbing all life forms in a bid to become the most sophisticated being in the universe. And why not, I say? I mean, it gets a bit lonely being so wonderful, it would be nice to have another sophisticated life form to chat with, I can tell you. But anyway, enough of my whinings and on with thee scenario. The monster is close to achieving it's ultimate aim, and only one thing stands between it and victory. Guess who. Yup - you.

All you have to do is climb into your ship, conveniently situated just inside the monster, and blast through four tortuously long levels of innards. You chunder your way through guts and ghoulies before coming face to brain with the alien's grey matter and blasting it into the equivalent of an EEC alien brain mountain.

You begin on Level One, a vertical scroller, where you have to progress upwards along a passage whilst all manner of nasties, resembling hearts and... er... other things, launch themselves in vicious waves at you. The passage grows gradually narrower, with ribs and chunks of what look like undigested cat food lining the wall. These will kill you instantly should you be unfortunate enough to come into contact with them. So steer clear! And don't forget the huge pulsating end of level nasty which you must blast to pieces before progressing onto the next level. Which is...

Level Two!!! YOu all know what this looks like 'cos YS had a playable demo of it on the front of the last issue. It's a horizontal scroller with even more horrible, gribbly things growing out of the walls trying to block your path. This time, mounds of mouldy flesh with eyeballs and gobs block your way, while even more things are attacking you. As you may guess, negotiating your way through is incredibly difficult, as the passages are extremely thin and demand absolute precision for you to progress. Add to this the attacking enemies, giant bees and whatever else, and you are in serious trouble. Levels Three and Four are more of the same, but with bigger, better and more numerous beasties to defeat. Fortunately, as with most games of this nature, there is a chance to 'tool up' by collecting the various 'power up' icons, which will give you such firepower as lasers, smart bombs and auto fire.

The graphics in Dominator are, it must be said, brilliant. The massive variety and animation of backgrounds and attack waves is amazing, and the nightmarish atmosphere created by all this is perfectly suited to the game. The scrolling is also spot on, as is the design and motion of your ship.

Unfortunately, your ship is not very versatile. It's size and lack of manoeuvrability mean that the grim reaper is forever lurking just behind you, waiting for the simplest mistake. Also when you die. it takes a long time to restart the game, about five or six seconds, which might not sound a lot, but when you are keyed up to play, seems like ages. And guess where it sends you when you die? Yup back to the start of the level. Aaaarrrggghh!! There's nothing worse than getting near to the end especially as it takes so long to get anywhere in Dominator, due to the slowest progression rate I can ever remember on the Speccy. Not the worst shoot 'em up ever, but by no means the best, that's for sure.

Brilliant graphics, but a bog-standard shoot em up.

70%
80%
73%
65%
74%

Screenshot Text

What I want to know is, if these are an alien's innards, how come they appear to be stars in the sky? Bit of a dodgy scenario, eh lads?

Innards. The final frontier. To boldly go where no one has been before. Up the left ventricle, down through the back passage... (That's enough of that. Ed)