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Players Software
1987
Arcade: Adventure
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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52
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

Deep space destruction on a budget scale. Sounds promising if you're a fan of maze games but if you're also a big budget buyer be warned, Anfractuous is a mish-mash of plot ideas, maze graphic techniques and uninspiring alien blobs.

You are a robot with very short legs - and a very small brain - who's run out of fuel and had to dump his space ship on an unexploded planet called Anfractuous. The spaceship, an Apollo lunar lander no doubt taken from the NASA scrap yard, needs eight cans of fuel, which you've got to find before the aliens take your four lives.

There's a big problem. You get to some of the game's screen's through one-way suction tunnels. Once you're through you can't escape. So, even if you go right and enter the spaceship screen you will be unable to escape, unless you've got the fuel cannisters to launch the craft.

There's more. You're a danger to yourself because your laser shoots out through your back. If the blasts don't hit an alien they'll bounce back at you off the maze walls and blast some of your life energy away.

You have just over 25 minutes to find the eight energy cannisters but the aliens' strength usually ensures that you'll never survive that long. Luckily the Severn brothers - the programmers - have included a couple of energy energising machines. They're few and far between so map the game and take note of each machine's position. Sound's tedious, and indeed it is.

Anfractuous resembles the NASA lander which is at its core. It's a piece of space dross with pretensions to originality.

There's a bundle of them out there already and this one's not going to make my advances.

Label: Players
Author: Andy and Martin Severn
Price: £1.99
Joystick: Kempston
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: John Gilbert

***

Feeble attempt at space age originality. Relies on hackneyed concepts. No real effort to be inventive.

3/5