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MC Lothlorien Ltd
Simon Cobb
1984
Arcade: Action
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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86,87
Chris Bourne

The cassette inlay wastes little space in setting up a scenario for this ultra-fast grid game beyond telling you to avoid the devastating fire from the tanks. Quite right too.

The game takes the basic form of Transversion, but unlike that game instead of static pods to destroy there are a few aliens on the grid which keep moving about. Around all four edges of the grid there are tanks which can move up and down or left and right to fire inwards along the grid lines.

This means that your man must constantly face fire from four different directions, with the tanks constantly homing in to fire along the line he is on. He is equipped with a laser that fires in eight directions, with which he must destroy the wandering aliens on the grid. Bumping onto one will result in loss of life.

Each screen cleared moves you on to a more difficult one with more aliens, and they move about more wildly.

CRITICISM

'There have been a few attempts to take the crown away from Ocean' s Transversion, but this is the first one I have played which has actually managed to add to that game. It must be one of the fastest grid games ever, and certainly aims to rank with Jeff Minter's. Yes, the idea's ever so simple, but the addition of laser fire for your man is clever. Not only must you concentrate on trying to line up a shot on a moving alien, but you have literally half a second (on the slowest of three speeds) to do it before the tanks get you. It requires manic concentration and a bottle of headache pills. Great!'

'I don 't think this is as good as Transversion It has poor movement responses and it's hard to see the screen in colour. Things just don't seem right it is very hard to move, avoid and shoot at your attackers. I also discovered that if you die ' when you reappear (in the middle) by an alien, you die immediately before realising it! It means having your finger on a move key before you reappear. Until I realised what was happening I was dying left, right and centre. Not struck on this version. '

'The game that starts on level 1 - impossible! Level 3 is simply impossibler! Grid Patrol is very fast - like in you need eight eyes fast, two for the joystick, two for the enemy, two for lining up shots, and two for keeping on the tanks. Graphics are small, but quite colourful and easily seen. The sound is fairly good, but you don ' t really need it because you're cone centrating on other things. I became so thrilled with this game that I broke a joystick (which is to be docked out of my CRASH expenses next month)! Very fast and quite addictive.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: CO/A up/down, 0/P left/right, SYM SHIFT to fire (it does mention user-definable keys on the inlay but there don't seem to be any)
Joystick: AGF, Protek, Kempston
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: average
Graphics: small, fast, generally reasonable
Sound: good
Skill levels: 3 speeds
Lives: 5
Screens: 8
General Rating: Simple grid game for those who like a fast arcade game.

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Screenshot Text

A totally manic game for real arcade freaks, and one of the best derivations of Transversion.