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Steven Tucker, DL
1988
Arcade: Action
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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50
Tony Worrall
Chris Bourne

Squeezing blood from a stone: that's what I call it! Audiogenic is really milking dry an already over-used game style with impact. Yes, it's Breakout time again.

Quite a few software houses have taken a profit conscious dip into the waves created by my fave game of '87 - Arkanoid. Some have been more successful than others, but so far nothing I have seen has even come close to the outstanding addictiveness and playability of the big A (except Revenge Of Doh, the Arkanoid follow up). I'm afraid Impact joins this ever growing list of also-rans.

Don't get me wrong, Impact is endowed with more than its fair share of addictivity alright. I find there's something strangely compelling about whacking a tiny ball into a wall of bricks. Trouble is the game feels, and looks extremely bland, with a basic style that echos the very first Breakout games more than anything else. The programmers have made little attempt to tart up the graphics or provide all those small 'extras' that makes Arkanoid II such fun to play (and watch).

Impact was the game that wowed them on the Atari (loads a money) ST, with stunning playability and above average visual and sound FX. The Speccy version looks very rough by comparison, which is surprising because it should have been easy to smarten up the program a wee bit. After the umpteenth screen of blocky, uninteresting brick walls, my attention began to wander off and do something slightly more interesting. A little more thought to appearances would have given the program a display to be proud of.

Hey, enough negative vibes. There are a couple of points that help to make Impact a better buy than your average Arkanoid clone. The special token collect and weapon selection feature is a skillo idea. Just pick up enough floating tokens to light up the weapon or feature of your choice, press select and away we go!

The second neat innovation is an easy to use screen designer. 80 screens are already built into the program but the designer gives you the opportunity to create a further 48. Enough there for anyone I would have thought.

Impact could have been amazing with a little more effort on the programming side. What we are left with though is an entertaining package that provides a couple of clever variations on the Arkanoid theme, but not much else.

Return of the Breakout clones. Non-sexist, non-violent family entertainment. The inclusion of a screen designer makes it fabby value as well.

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