MC Lothlorien Ltd
Matthew Rhodes
1984
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

51
Chris Bourne

In the midst of a summer concerned with the depredations of software piracy, slump and the manic drive towards originality often at the expense of playability, Hyperblaster comes as a welcome return to the days of games infancy. There's nothing all that original in the concept of this 'Asteroids' type game, but it is certainly a modern one rather than suffering with yesterday's graphics as so many 'throwbacks' seem to. The cassette cover even has one of those 'old fashioned ' scenarios that bring tears of nostalgia to your eyes for the good old days of a year ago!

You're out in space testing the newly developed G.P.4.U. when a bunch of unpleasant Deltanoids jump your ship. Risking all, and despite demands for your return to base from control, you decide to push the ship to the edge of its conceived capabilities, and engage the unarmed Deltanoids. That's when you realise that there are more waiting beyond the range of your sensors - thousands more...

In respect of the newly developed G.P.4.U. the graphics we standard and would be recognised by any 'Asteroids' fan as a good old laser blasting triangle fitted with rotational controls and forward thrust, and possessing the ability to hyperspace - or hyperblast as Lothlorien refer to it. But the Deltanoids are a different matter.

They may be unarmed and easily dealt with in screen one, but they are guided by intelligence, each wave getting worse - and there are seventeen waves to survive.

CRITICISM

'This is an 'Asteroids' derivative. Unlike 'Asteroids' , the objects don't split up into smaller fragments when hit, but on later levels you have to hit them several times before they are destroyed. The thrust on your ship is a good one with some inertia as on the original arcade version. Overall, not a super-original game, but a pleasant surprise and something to keep 'Asteroid' fans happy. Can't say that there was a really good Asters for the Spectrum before.'

'I was a bit worried when I realised this was a sort of 'Asteroids' game. Having been an avid fan of the original and played for hours on the Atari VCS version, I have always been disappointed in the many Spectrum versions. However, Hyperblaster really works! Your ship is nothing very special although it is larger than most rival versions which gives a better sense of position, and the thrust works well. But the asteroids are very good. Spinning planetoids, fast spinning coins, flying crinkle-cut chips and so on. Lots of variation, all detailed and nice graphics all fast and smooth moving. Also, these asteroids are intelligent, more so as you go on. Towards the end of each wave they really get vicious and must be hit several times. Perhaps the rate of fire could have been slightly better to cope with them. I enjoyed this game a lot and recommend it to anyone wanting a simple, good shoot em up.'

'The hyperspace facility is the best I've seen. When you press the key your ship vanishes and a large, brightly coloured square ring forms on the screen, then zooms in to the new position where you reappear. This stops all that 'where've I gone to ' confusion usually associated with hyperspacing in this sort of game. The intelligence of the asteroids and the different characteristics of each wave makes for a very addictive game in the tradition of old shoot em ups. Definitely one to get.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: 1/2 rotate left/right, 6 for thrust, 7 for fire, bottom row to hyperblast
Joystick: none, but the keys are simple
Keyboard play: responsive, with good positions
Use of colour: average, but well used
Graphics: fairly large, detailed and smooth moving, good explosions
Sound: above average
Skill levels: 3 speeds
Lives: 3
Screens: 17 sheets
Features: 1 or 2-player games
Originality: obviously not original, but one of the best implementations
General Rating: Good to very good, addictive.

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Screenshot Text

Varied and intelligent asteroids make for one of the best Spectrum shoot em ups of its type in Hyperblaster.