FEEBLE FOUR FROM SINCLAIR
SINCLAIR RESEARCH is continuing its policy of marketing games under licence with four new releases. Zipper Flipper by R.E-D Sunshine is a pinball program with a fruit machine feature included. You have to break down a wall of bricks with the ball to bring the fruit machine into play.
The other three games are all by Hudsonsoft. Driller Tanks, which sounds like a video nasty, is a simple game of underground warfare, as you use your tank to prevent marauding monsters tunneling to the surface.
Bubble Blaster is a slightly more interesting program in which you must burst bubbles with a ray gun before they land on you.
Those three games all suffer from a very simple concept which has not been developed to provide any real variety during the play. The graphics on Bubble Blaster, though they could be better yet, are of higher quality than in the other two programs but are also the least complex when seen on the screen, even though they may be well-programmed.
The fourth in the series, Eric and the Floaters, is clearly superior to the other three. Eric is attempting to explore a lost underground civilisation by planting bombs in a network of tunnels to clear blockages and reveal treasures.
He is pursued by balloon-like Floaters, which also have to be killed with the bombs. The concept is again simple but in this case there are a number of hidden surprises which increase the enjoyment for the player out of all proportion to the extra trouble taken to program the refinements.
To play the games with a joystick you will have to use Interface Two, or one of the programmable interfaces, as Sinclair is clearly not interested in supporting peripherals manufactured by other companies.
Joystick: Interface 2