Silversoft Ltd
1984
Arcade: Action
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

102,103
Chris Bourne

Silversoft produced a highly successful oddity of a game in Worse Things Happen At Sea - a recent CRASH SMASH. Now they return to more traditional arcade pastures with Hyperaction - the name of the game is in the name of the game, a fast and furious compilation of ideas which have been put together in such a way that they transcend the individual ingredients.

If you want an identifying slot for Hyperaction, then it would be Pengo meets Pacman, a randomly generated series of mazes in which certain of the square blocks can be pushed or burned away so that 'you' can score points while avoiding the chasers. What is attractive about Hyperaction is that each maze is in effect a different game with changed game rules.

Sometimes, having collected the objects on screen (usually four), you may have to make your way to the centre of the screen and a flashing block to get to the next level, sometimes just completing the task like eating all the blue in Artic Jellyfish, is enough. Each screen has its own title like Snapper Trapper, Artic Jellyfish, The Hampton Nightmare, Return of the Jelli, and so on. One rule which is standard is that you must not push a block over a useful or collectible item, nor over a chaser, or you lose a life. This means you have no weapons and must survive on skill, speed and a good eye. Another point is the time limit for each screen, which affects your score and that all important hi-score overall. If it runs out completely then you lose another life.

Pushing the blocks around is simple enough using direction and fire. The blocks, unlike in a Pengo game, only move one square per push, so they can be used easily enough for tactical blocking. Should a block meet another block or the screen edge, then a further push will burn it away.

CRITICISM

'Hyperaction is a good old fashioned action arcade game, but it's a lot tougher than most you'll find on the arcades, and although it is old fashioned in the sense of being a sort of Pacman and Pengo or Freez'Bees, it isn't at all old fashioned in the sense of YAWN. In fact it's one of the most challenging games I've played for ages. For a start off, the graphics are marvellous, large and fast as well as detailed, for another the chasers are very, very intelligent, and once one is on your tail you're as good as dead. Strategy is the only tactic to use, moving the blocks about to trap the chasers. I like the fact that each screen is different - I don't know how many there are because I haven't got through more than four at this point - but that fact alone keeps you wanting to have one more go to see if you can get onto another screen. A simple idea that is very playable and maddeningly addictive. Great!'

'Beautiful colours and lovely, well animated large graphic characters which move smoothly, make this a very playable game. In fact the colour is just spot on. This is a very difficult game and well worth the money for the hours of fun it's going to provide, and I certainly haven't got all the way through yet by any means. The sound has been well used as well to add to it. A good combination of two older game types to make a new modern one.'

'Hyperaction certainly means what it says! Frustrating isn't a word I've used to describe a straightforward arcade style game for ages, but this one definitely is! The combination of no defence and chasers that are as mean as any I've ever seen makes it a sweaty game to play. The fact that you can't squash your pursuers makes life very hard and there are a number of times when I've lost a life because of that natural reaction to try and get one of them. All the graphics are excellent, and the way the mazes are generated for each screen is a delight. I liked this game very much.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Z/X left/right, O/K up/down,, 0 to push
Joystick: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Keyboard play: very responsive and good positions
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: varied, large, smooth - very good
Sound: very good
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 5
Screens: many
General Rating: Highly addictive, an original mix of two older ideas that makes for a playable, hi-scoring game, and good value for money.

77%
82%
89%
80%
91%
85%
84%

Screenshot Text

The first screen, 'Snapper Trapper'.