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US Gold Ltd
Arcade: Maze
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Phil King
Chris Bourne

The much-acclaimed Atari coin-op arrived on the Spectrum in February 1987 with 512 multiloaded, scrolling levels. But this 'official conversion' only arrived after several very good clones of the arcade machine had appeared. The belated licensed version, like the clones, only catered for two players, unlike the four of the arcade original. But even with just a daring duo, cooperation is essential for success. Partly this is due to the differing capabilities of the characters.
The simple aim of the adventurers is to explore the many levels, while shooting and hacking as many monsters as possible. The ghosts, demons aid rock-throwing lobbers emerge from generators (which can be shot) and swarm through the mazes attacking the heroes. Contact with them reduces the player's energy level and if this drops to zero, the adventure (and life) is over. Luckily, nourishment is scattered around, along with magic potions to destroy many enemies at once.

Although graphically and sonically rather dull the Spectrum version of Gauntlet retains (most importantly) all the playability of the classic coin-op. While the large amount of levels require a multiload, since eight load in a time play doesn't suffer too many interruptions. A huge, action-packed game, this is a bargain. If you were silly enough to miss it first time around, get it NOW!