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EMM Software
1983
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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123,124
Chris Bourne

Euro-Byte games have been around for some time, but we have never seen one reviewed. Euro-Byte itself appears to keep a very low profile as well. There are two games reviewed in this issue, G-Force here, and Pod. Pod, however, appears to have been sold to, or marketed through, Visions under the new name of Rapedes, and a review of it can also be found in this issue.

F-Force is a hard game to describe as it fits in with no known categories and resembles no other game we have seen. It is a shoot 'em up - that, at least, can be said. It is played on a grid made up of 10 vertical columns. Your ship is at the base and may move left and right, firing ping-pong balls up any of the columns, at the aliens which drop down from the top. There are six types of alien, although you won't encounter all at once until the higher skill levels are reached.

Flippers, a red X-shape. are common and move randomly back and forth as they descend. Tankers, purple diamond shapes, move down a column quite slowly, and if shot split into two Flippers. Spinners, looking like a mini molecular structure mode, are the most common and move down a column at various speeds from slow to very fast.

Spikers look like cotton reels on a thread, dangling from the top in a column. They stretch down, leaving spikes which kill at the end of a frame if you survive (the whole grid scrolls down and the spikes will stick you if you remain in a column under one). Pulsars run along the top of the grid and drop deadly bombs, while lastly. Fireballs move all over the screen.

Extremely busy bonus screens between frames give details of scores, level reached and aliens to be encountered before a countdown from 10 starts. There are 32 levels to play through.

CRITICISM

'G-Force is, quite simply, the most original shoot 'em up game for the Spectrum I have seen. (It is similar to an arcade game with 3D perspective graphics, although G-Force has 2D graphics.) The graphics themselves are good but not really super smooth. Mind you, this type of shoot 'em up game doesn't really need super smooth graphics to make it work. I enjoyed it, and with 32 levels I think I will be playing and enjoying it for quite a while too. '

'Everything about this game is untypical of anything. The graphics all look as though they've been designed by someone who is familiar with the Spectrum (obviously!) and yet has never seen a typical Spectrum game before. The result is quite different. The between-screen breaks look more like one of those title sequences from an American TV movie where everyone's name flashes by so fast you can't read them. This results in a needed breather which isn't irritating by being too long. The keys are well laid out and very responsive. A very busy game and very addictive too.'

'G-Force is unique in many ways: firstly, if two-player mode is selected, then each player may enter the game at whatever level they choose, allowing a good player to match a poorer one. With 32 levels of play the game will keep you busy for a month or so. Even level one is fairly difficult to play. A fast action shoot 'em up game with plenty going on all at once, great bonus screens, and a game that can't be compared with anything else. I ,can recommend it for those with lightning responses and very strong fingers!'

COMMENTS
Control keys: G/H left right and F/J superfast left /right, 1 and 0=fire
Joystick: none
Keyboard play: excellent responses, simple to use
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: very good, large, detailed and more well if suddenly
Sound: good
Skill levels /screens: 32
Lives: 3
Features: 1 or 2 player games with independent level starts
General Rating: High unusual shoot 'em up with very good appeal and plenty of addictivity. Recommended.

68%
75%
85%
66%
88%
85%
79%

Screenshot Text

An unusual game of pure speed - G-Force.