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Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Chris Bourne

'Missile Command' games for the Spectrum must rapidly be coming up for a comparison article - almost every major software house has now had a go at a version, one of the most recent being Artic. In Earth Defence you are given the usual 6 cities to defend with your three missile bases. In this version only the middle one actually fires, the other two supplying missiles. It also features a moving cross hair sight like other versions, but when the fire key is pressed a cross is left until the missile arrives, leaving your main sight free to dash off to the next incoming enemy missile trail. Since the game is well known there's little point in describing it further.


'The graphics are fairly simple with nice explosions, but with only one of the three bases firing it's difficult to cope, especially with the poor control key layout provided. The original used a tracker ball for controlling missiles, and unless you have a compatible joystick, I would not personally recommend this game'

'I thought the use of colour was good, the graphics are smooth and the sound is also good. A very addictive game.'

'It has simpler looking graphics than some of the other versions, but the explosions are about the best I've seen. All three levels are fast, the highest being virtually impossible without a great deal of practice. Pity about the silly control keys though - it's not an arrangement for what is avery game to play.'

Control keys: poor, 6/7 left/right, 8/9 up/down, zero to fire. These are keys for the Sinclair interface 2, and an alternative should have been provided
Joystick: Sinclair, Kempston
Keyboard play: responsive, but difficult to control well
Colour: Average to good, changes with screens
Graphics: simple with good explosion effects
Sound: reasonable
Skill levels: 3
Lives: 6 cities

General Rating: Above average to good.


Screenshot Text

All seems lost as Earth's defences crumble.