Crystal Computing
1983
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£6.50
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

90,91
Chris Bourne

A word of warning first! Crystal have been clever, the program has a special loader and instead of the usual interference lines in the border area while the game is loading it remains clear. You might be tempted to think that something has gone wrong and restart, but leave the tape running and all will be well. As the loading - continues, the game screen details are slowly built up to reveal the traditional appearance of a defender game.

Once loading is complete you are asked whether or not you have a Fuller box connected. If you have then spectacular sound effects are produced. Unfortunately, if you are not possessed of an amazing Fuller box, then the program is quite silent.

The game itself is a pretty classic copy of Defender.

CRITICISM

'This is one of the best copies of the original I have seen, and includes Landers, Bombers, Mutants, Swarmers and pods, your craft has a laser and smart bombs and flies forward and in reverse. At the top there is a long range scan - a very good one, you really can use it for lining up a laser blast. The graphics are very smooth but not colourful - another feature which is true to the original. Pity about the sound, it makes it very dull to play.'

'It's all very well offering "spectacular sound effects" through the fuller box, but I wonder how many people have them? The excellent graphics include some of the best cosmic explosions I've yet seen, but all in lull stereo silence. Even the muted buzzing of my Spectrum is preferable to this! That apart, we have here a classic copy of an arcade favourite. The scrolling landscape is the usual rig zag line with small humanoids dotted about waiting to be grabbed by the green aliens. It all moves very fast and, if you like the type, is very addictive.'

'It could have been like Star Wars with a Fuller box on board. If this is the way games are going for the Spectrum I'd better get CRASH to provide me with one! It seems a bit mean not to have given the disadvantaged unFullerised player a bit of murky sound to be going on with. It's a pity because this is otherwise a good and playable game. The detail is nice, especially Crystal's familiar Hall of Fame where 16 previous players with names like Muad'Dib. Czar Murdicog and the Headless and Greatheart Silver are already listed. Another drawback is the awkward control keys.'

COMMENTS
Keyboard positions: 4 directional keys are in line which is not the best arrangement. Z/X left/right, N/M up/down, A to G fire laser, H to ENTER, smart bombs (2).
Joystick options: AGF, Protek, Kempston, Fuller
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: very little
Graphics: very good
Sound: none unless used with Fuller box
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3

General Rating: A good copy, playable and addictive.

67%
80%
60%
70%
75%
65%
69.5%

Screenshot Text

A green grabber fires at 'you' in Crystal's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHAS!