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1989
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£8.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links


54
Andy Smith
Chris Bourne

GREMLIN launch ground and air attack.

Costa Panayi's name may not be familiar to many people, but every Spectrum owner probably has one of his games in their collection. Under the banner of Vortex Software, hits such as Highway Encounter, Alien Encounter and Tornado Low Level made their mark on the ZX scene.

Mr Panayi has returned to the diagonal scrolling used to such great effect in his previous releases and, incorporating a heavy dose of Zaxxon, H.A.T.E. - Hostile All Terrain Encounter - is the result.

The player takes alternate control of a low-level starfighter and ground-based assault vehicle which are guided across continually scrolling geometric landscapes. Both craft are constantly assailed by an array of alien vehicles, but are armed and the tank also sports a useful missile launcher.

The aim on each level is to collect plasma cells from pods by destroying their outer casing and making contact with the exposed unit. During the level, cells act as an "extra life", being destroyed instead of the current craft on sustaining a hit. The number of cells transported to the next level determines the number of craft available. In this way, failure on a subsequent landscapes sees the mission restart from the last level with craft to spare.

There are 30 levels to conquer, split into three stages. Should the mission fail on a later stage, it restarts from the beginning of that stage.

Hugely unoriginal in its concept and execution, H.A.T.E. still manages to provide a quality blast. However, the lives-per-level system means that games can last for ages, and it also facilitates a high repetition factor, with levels being constantly re-played.

Reviewer: Andy Smith

RELEASE BOX
Atari ST, £19.99dk, Imminent
Amiga, £19.99dk, Out Now
Spec 128 £9.99cs,£14.99dk, Out Now
Amstrad £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
C64/128 £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent

Initial resistance to yet another blast-em-up gives way first to excitement and in the long run to boredom.

7/10
2/10
2/10
7/10
643/1000

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SPECTRUM VERSION

The monochrome play area scrolls smoothly and the craft are all nicely detailed, with animated aliens and realistic shadows throughout. The single load doesn't accommodate the '+' series sound chip though, and the spot effects only cater for nostalgia fans.

AMSTRAD VERSION

Hmm. Quick and colourful - with all the features of the Speccy, but with little use made of the Amstrad's higher spec. Gremlin and Vortex prove once again that they have 3D well sussed on these 8 bit machines but can they do it properly on the Amiga and ST?

Graphics: 6/10

Audio: 4/10

IQ Factor: 2/10

Fun Factor: 7/10

Ace Rating: 635/1000

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Superb 3D - like only Vortex know how.