Now if it's HARD shoot em ups you're into, this is the business. Gunrunner first appeared from Hewson in 1987, and it hasn't aged a picosecond. The scenario's simple enough - you're another of those lone warriors protecting the universe against a load of alien thingies whose idea of strategy is flying around in a straight line, waiting to be picked off.
Running from left to right along a network of pipes and things on the surface of the planet Zero, you encounter some of the zappiest nasties this side of Mike Tyson, and all against a clear monochrome background. It's smooth, it's fast, it's different (a little like Uridium crossed with Cobra), and it's viciously hard - not to be tried by anyone who doesn't like a challenge. There are certain goodies you can pick up along the way - a jet pac, for instance, lets you fly around the screen for a brief period, while a shield grants you temporary invincibility - but essentially it's blast-and-avoid, blast-and-avoid. Cracking good fun, and another reason why a Hewson's Greatest Hits would be a memorable addition to anyone's software library. (So why haven't you done one, Andrew?)