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

Other Links


56
Eugene Lacey
Chris Bourne

System 3 fail to dominate.

Does the world really need another horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up? That may seem like an unfair question. After all, the world may not have needed another beat 'em up or arcade adventure when System 3 launched International Karate and Last Ninja - but both games went on to become the standards by which these types of game are now judged.

Mark Cale, the controversial Ferrari-driving boss of System 3, clearly believes that Dominator will provide a third standard in the shoot 'em up department with the claim that it will "create a new genre in this type of home computer software" translated into three languages in the instruction manual. So does it? in three words -"NO", "Nein", and "Non".

The first level is the "Gateway" to the action - and the only vertically scrolling level. The usual assortment of power-ups are there for grabs: Rear Gun, Laser, Blaster Canon, and Autofire, but they hardly improve the playability.

Smart bombs and extra lives can also be earned by your intrepid space pilot - and these will come in handy as the game does get quite hard on the later levels.

Just as you would expect there are giant end of level nasties that will absorb stacks of laser fire before finally blowing up and letting you pass. The aliens do have fairly difficult attack patterns. They zoom in quickly, necessitating a speedy trigger finger if you are to survive. They all approach from the same side though - so at least you don't have to worry about sneaky ones coming from behind, as in R-Type for example.

That's really all there is to Dominator. It is the scrolling shoot 'em up that you have seen a dozen times before whatever computer you own. Its scant distinguishing features make an uncharacteristically disappointing launch from System 3.

Reviewer: Eugene Lacey

RELEASE BOX
Amiga, £19.99dk, Out Now
C64/128, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
SPEC £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
Ams £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent
Atari ST, £19.99dk, Imminent

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 55/100
1 hour: 60/100
1 day: 51/100
1 week: 35/100
1 month: 25/100
1 year: 0/100

Lots of levels and ubiquitous power-ups to be had but this "concept" pales quickly.

7/10
6/10
5/10
5/10
882/1000

Banner Text

SPECTRUM VERSION

Impressive multi-coloured graphics and a nice swivel effect on the space ship. Unfortunately marred by the same inadequate game design as the other versions. R-Type stills reigns supreme on the Speccy.

AMIGA VERSION

Sound FX and music are adequate. but you get the distinct impression that the Amiga is not being stretched in either the audio or graphics departments. R-Type and Katakis do it better.

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 55/100

1 hour: 60/100

1 day: 51/100

1 week: 35/100

1 month: 25/100

1 year: 0/100

Graphics: 6/10

Audio: 6/10

IQ Factor: 5/10

Fun Factor: 5/10

Ace Rating: 882/1000

C64 VERSION

Possibly the best of the five versions. It is just unfortunate for System 3 that the smaller Commodore is already well served for shoot 'em ups with games like Armalyte, IO, and Delta.

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 55/100

1 hour: 60/100

1 day: 51/100

1 week: 35/100

1 month: 25/100

1 year: 0/100

Graphics: 7/10

Audio: 7/10

IQ Factor: 5/10

Fun Factor: 6/10

Ace Rating: 882/1000

Screenshot Text

Amiga: Take out the yellow alien and then pump flak into the monster's gaping jaws.

C64: Colourful backdrops fail to push Dominator into the scrolling shoot-em-up hall of fame.

Spectrum: Four lives left and you're facing the giant nasty on Level 1. Dodge his fire and register ten direct hits to kill.

C64: Dominator: concept by Mark Cale, who brought us concept by Mark Cale, who brought us International Karate.