Nigel Edwards
1986
Arcade: Platform
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

47
Clare Edgeley
Chris Bourne

AVOID THE Ruskies and steal the parts of their top scret MIG Starfighter from under their noses. The plot sounds a bit like Firefox, where Clint Eastwood has to steal the Russians' new MIG fighter plane.

Hypa Raid doesn't bear much resemblance to the movie; it is basically a levels game without the ladders and with a few guards and puzzles to solve for good measure.

Scattered throughout the screens are a number of pieces of the Starfighter - little blobs, in fact. You have to collect those by dodging up and down the levels in each screen, avoiding traps in the floor and opening doors and partitions.

The game is by no means original, but the puzzles require split-second timing and a little thought before making each move. You have four batteries in your protective suit, and when each of those is drained you lose a life. Being caught by the patrolling Russians and stepping on a trap causes huge energy drains, so watch out.

Buried in the floor of each level are lock cards, represented by a 'T', data cards, 'C', arrows pointing north and south which jump you from level to level and the dreaded traps. Those are coloured squares which alternate between blue and yellow. Step on a yellow one and you can say goodbye to your battery. The swap rapidly so be quick.

The access or lock cards are colour-coded and you will find that to get through a blue door to the next screen, you will first have to open a partition and on or two other colour-coded doors. As you can carry only one lock card at a time, you will have to retrace your steps two or three times. At least one level on each screen is divided by a wall shich can be opening by a key, placed in the most inaccessible part of the screen. To got to the key, you may have to open several doors.

The first three screens are easy - they don't require much though and you can whizz through them fairly quickly. After that it's a different story. As you travel deeper into the game you'll notice that each screen progressively becomes more complex with more traps and doors.

Two of the most vital parts of the Starfighter are hidden in special secure chambers. You can't just open a door to get them. The data card is needed in these cases to open the door. And, as an added precaution, the floor is booby-trapped. The data cards are not easy to find and are hidden on other screens.

There are other signs embedded in the floor - one which offers you the chance of a breather, another is a hyperport, I'll leave you to work out the rest. One useful square is a transporter, which carries you into another screen, although to get to it you still have to open a door.

Once you have collected all four parts of the MIG, make your way back to the teleport room prior to escaping. This can be very tricky as it is well hidden and there is a time limit - if you hang around, you'll get the chop.

Hypa Raid is a simple game and yet very playable.

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: Atlantis
Programmer: Nigel Edwards
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston

***

3/5