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1983
Arcade: Action
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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53,54
Chris Bourne

Watch out! Emerging from their lairs deep underground the fire-breathing Mammut and their mindless cohorts, the Skorks, are on the rampage.

'Oh' no,' I hear you cry, 'not again!' Never mind - Driller Tanks can prevent them from invading the Summer Palace. The battle takes place in the old tunnel complex beneath the palace. Before the tanks can use their ice-canon and the power of their own weight, they must dear a path through the earth-filled tunnels.

The screen display shows the summer palace to be saved at the top, and below it the complex of earth-filled tunnels. These tunnels are actually five platforms with four or five connecting passages between each level. The driller tank starts each life by drilling its way to the centre before you take over control. The earth is represented by blue colouring, and moving the tank along a passageway results in it turning black. The tank moves faster once a passageway has been cleared.

The mindless Skorks move vertically upwards, filling in any passage you may have cleared. The purple coloured Mammut walk along the passages breathing fire which destroys your tanks. The tanks can fire and freeze a Mammut for a few moments before it unfreezes itself, but if frozen they are vulnerable to your crushing weight and will disintegrate. Scoring is for freezing and crushing Mammuts or freezing Skorks. You are lost if the palace is reached by a Mammut. The game contains eight stages of increasing difficulty.

CRITICISM

'This was the worst of Hudson Soft's programs for Sinclair in my opinion. I mean this in the nicest possible way as the game is not really bad, it's just that it did not seem over playable - okay but could have been better. The graphics are fairly good and the smashing of the frozen Mammuts is well done. On the whole I didn' t enjoy playing this one, but I would still rate it as above average when compared with games in general.'

'Unusual game with unusual graphics, one that is quite playable and where timing needs to be quite precise when freezing Mammuts. Nike the idea of Mammuts being able to de-ice your cannon, and the way Skorks can hinder your progress. The graphics are large and quite colourful with a fair amount of primitive animation. There are two sets of key layout for left and right-handed players, although in each the 'freeze' key is a bit out of reach. The start of each new screen or life is quite longwinded, something which quickly becomes irritating. Not for the cold-hearted! '

'I thought Driller Tanks a medium interesting game - quite original in some respects, but somehow not thrilling enough to grab me for more than a few minutes. It has reasonable quality graphics and sound and enough difficulty in play to give appeal - but not for long. Very good demo/instructions.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: A or J/D or L left/right, W or M up/down, SHIFT or SPACE fire
Joystick: ZX 2
Keyboard play: responsive, but not massively good positions
Use of colour: reasonable
Graphics: average, although a little on the primitive, blocky side
Sound: average
Skill levels: 1 but progressive difficulty
Screens: 8 stages
Originality: certainly scores here, the game idea is quite novel
General Rating: Above average.

60%
69%
47%
81%
45%
79%
53%
62%

Screenshot Text

It's icy cold under the threatened Summer Palace in Driller Tanks.