Virgin Games Ltd
1987
Arcade: Action
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

57
Jack Daniel
Chris Bourne

It's nice to know that MI6 aren't the only people to have hassle with their positive vetting. You see, T.I.M.E. (Temporal Investigative and Monitoring Executive) have got a renegade Time Lord on their hands - and not only does that mean shorter lunch hours, but the disruption of the whole Space-Time continuum. Bad news, John. Good guys to the rescue.

Actually, what is happening is that this impish Time Lord is taking artefacts from one Time Zone and putting them elsewhere, which natch, could cause big problems. I mean, imagine King Harold and William the Conquerer having telephones. They could have called the whole thing off at half time, and then where would we be. David Steele as Prime Minister I expect.

Anyway, back at Falcon, it is your sworn duty to seek out these anomalies and set history to rights by returning them to their correct Time Zones. Lucky you have a rapid response laser gun to blow away any natives with and a Jet Pack to make the carnage just that little bit more unfair, together with a trusty Time Machine to take you round the eight Time Zones that exist.

You start off in a room in the Time Lord HQ, the Eigervault. Your time machine dematerialises before your very eyes, and you must run around this particular level, zapping and rampaging robot, to find it again. No need to worry, actually. It's only five flip screen rooms away.

The single complication is the time limit you are up against. During the play testing. Virgin obviously found it was too easy, and the only thing they could do at that late stage was to alter the time.

Playing real-time, you have only four minutes. Sure, you get some extra time when you complete a mission, but it still makes it a push. Some might think this challenging. I suspect the more discerning reader would simply find it annoying.

Falcon isn't complicated enough to make it as an arcade adventure. The zapping isn't compulsive enough to make it a decent zapper. The design isn't pretty enough to make it worth just looking at on the telly. In fact Falcon falls between almost every stool imaginable.

Being not-completely-awful, it's possible that a much small relative might find Falcon of interest. It's certainly easy enough. But for the hardened gamer, there is nothing here whatsoever.

Label: Virgin
Author: Sentient Software
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Jack Daniel

Simplistic shooter that has arcade adventure pretentions, but this is one Virgin product that never takes off.

5/10