Domark Ltd
1991
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£10.99
English
ZX Spectrum 128K
SpeedLock 7

48
Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

In the future, the life of a courier is more than tough. Terrorists rule the skies and seas and it needs a special sort of pestle to get the mail through.

Understandably, there isn't a great deal of competition in this game so your name is the one that comes to the lips of the government. You are... Postman Pat, Erm... no, better make that Hydra.

There are nine missions to complete with such diverse packages to deliver as Her Majesty the Queen's crown jewels, mutant virus strains, laser rifles and doomsday devices. You're provided with a hydracraft and a machine gun as standard protection., but once a couple of runs an under your belt special weapons, shields and fuel can be purchased.

Fuel is your main worry as you rocket up the screen toward the ravaging terrorist hordes. The fuel gauge, at the side of the screen, shoots down at an alarming rate but by shooting enemy craft, fuel crystals can be collected, as can balloons containing cash (by using the boost function to fly for a few seconds).

But beware: collision with any of the obstacles, mobile or stationary, will lose you a hydracraft, and more importantly, the cargo. When this happens, an enemy speedboat grabs the container and legs it. All you can do is increase speed to warp factor 8 and give chase.

If you survive to the end of the level you enter the Hydradome and are able to pick up tots of goodies. And, if you has loadsadosh, you can enter Ziggy's Weapon Shop and purchase such essentials as homing missiles, shields, flamethrowers and 9mm Uzi.

So, there you have it. It's a good thing that Postman Pat doesn't have to arm himself to deliver the post, isn't it viewers? 'Postman Pat and his black and white cat, early in the morning, just as day is dawning, he shoots all the terrorists in his van' doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?

The arcade version of Hydra is okay but isn't exactly a mega game, and this is the case with its computer offspring. The sprites are messy: from a distance the attacking mob looks like a plate of spaghetti, and close up things don't improve much.

A water-borne versa of Road Blasters is how I'd describe this game, just head up the scrolly screen and blast anything that moves. This would be fun if the fuel wasn't guzzled up so quickly (I think a stray bullet has hit the fuel tank). Nick may quite like this game but it doesn't do a great deal for me.

MARK ... 50%

CRITICISM

'This type of racing game has been seen time and time again on the Speccy (and here it is gain). Your hydracraft moves and shoots like the speedboat in Domark's Live and Let Die- it's very similar! The game idea is simple but the slightest bang into any of the scenery or enemies and the cargo goes catapulting into the distance, to be picked up by someone else. Fuel disappears at an alarming rate and pods have to be constantly picked up to keep going. All the presentation screens are well drawn and coloured and the music that plays throughout really gets the toes tapping. The graphics on the whole are okay but tend to look quite dated and the 'tracks' are sparse.' NICK … 66%

A fun racing shoot-'em-up but the constant fuel shortage soon bumps up the annoyance gauge.

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Screenshot Text

Heck! The river's been turned to custard! What a miracle, praise the Lord, etc, etc...