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Mastertronic Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

The Earth hasn't had much of a run, has it? First the dinosaurs came along, leaving droppings all over the carpet, then the Ice Age came along and froze the whole place up. To top it all, Mike Smith decided to become a DJ, so everyone packed up their stuff and left mother Earth forever. Only a few remain. Known as the rangers. They each guard specific areas of the Earth from things that are hot areas of the Earth.

Here then is Energy Warrior first of Mastertronics' MADX games - cassettes with a free game on the reverse. Molecule Man is the B side here and it's pretty bad. Enough of that.

Yes, you in your little spaceship have to fly above the surface of the planet and eliminate the aliens. Easy, you say, just defending a couple of areas. Yes easy, just defending 30 areas, at once. No sweat for the bear, but what about mortals?

Actually it's not that hard. The challenge is there, but it's not very difficult to have a long game. The aliens come in waves, one wave at a time, and you have to shoot them out with the little gun on the front of your craft. The game is viewed side on, as in Nemesis, Defender, etc. Controls are just up, down, fire and left/right to turn your ship around.

The graphics are OKish, with some nice details here and there, but it is the scrolling where the game really comes into its own. Parallax starfields have been seen before, but this is something different. Five layers of backdrop all scrolling at different speeds make this scrolling the best I have seen, easily surpassing games like Uridium.

There you have it, some good reasons to buy it and one very good reason to buy it. Next time you are out buying budget, give it a try. I like it and I'm beggared if SU is getting it back.

Label: Mastertronic
Author: Binary Design
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Well above average budget shooty with excellent parallax scrolling. With a free game, a very good buy.