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1986
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£8.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

76
Pete Shaw
Chris Bourne

I grew up to learn that if you hold your breath and count to ten, hiccups would go away. This one didn't, which isn't surprising since the cassette case is a little hard to swallow.

The obviously cosmopolitan ICUPS comes with an instruction sheet in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Danish. That's nice, but it would've been nicer if there had been some instructions in English to aid people like myself who took absolutely no notice of what their French teacher was babbling on about. Maybe this is all part of the game?

So, armed only with a brief chat with the man from Thor, who didn't seem to get on with the game very well either, and an even briefer knowledge of German courtesy of the Ed who knows such things, I battled on through what seemed at first to be a simple shoot em up.

But things in life aren't that simple and one can never seem to cold-start a C5 in the morning. You see, in this Spy Hunter style shoot 'em up, the yellow meanies kill you on impact, the V-shaped meanies fire at you once you've passed them, the red blob meanies drop bombs on you, the meany with the two turrets is indestructable and you'll probably get as bored as I was if I go into that any further.

If you can manage to get past this first stage of ICUPS then a second and final level awaits you. I must confess that I've never come even close to that level, but if the man from Thor is to be believed, stage 2 is far more interesting. There you must avoid more flying meanies, but this time, at least you have an aim in life. Four parts of a bomb are scattered around the play area and you must steal them from their protective domes and then use it to blow up the station you're in. A little self destructive, maybe, but then computer games are like that.

Not the world's greatest game, but even if it doesn't cure your hiccups at least it'll take your mind off them.

8/10
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