As you attempt to circumnavigate a planet, your space ship comes under the influence of a strange set of changeable physical laws. Your craft moves left, right, up and down, but control is imprecise and variable. With this limitation, you fly through a corridor of flora, surface outcrops and planetary inhabitants.
The characters P, A and X he on the planet's surface and are collected when flown over. A Latin word is then formed, completing your mission when presented to the hand of the Kinemator in the final screen. Should the word be spelled incorrectly the game continues, if the letters are not collected your mission is doomed. Thirty-three points are awarded for every one of the 44 screens moved to on the right, and 33 lost for every screen entered to the left.
Power is limited and continually diminishing, with energy drain increasing when walls or planetary inhabitants are touched. One of three ships is lost when power falls to zero, but another is gained on reaching 1,000 points. Flying through water replenishes power, whilst full power and 500 points are generated by picking up a bonus symbol.
Navigational and defence systems are available as follows - Safety Shields protect the ship from lethal objects and energy-sapping inhabitants; a Powder Sprayer frightens the aliens and destroys walls, an Anti-Gravity mechanism counteracts gravity; whilst the Anti-Physics device nullifies gravity, bounce, friction, gravitational and repulsive objects and saves some energy; a once off teleporter moves between screens - but not all screens can be teleported to.
Instruments are acquired and stored in an activated instrument box, with a maximum of three instruments carried simultaneously. Collecting an instrument in an already utilised box loses the previously acquired device. The Safety Shield offers no protection from an occasionally appearing cube, any contact with this causes the loss of one collected device.
'The standard of production at FIREBIRD has increased considerably over the first few months of this year. It takes quite a while to get used to the weird control and the massive amount of magnetism on some screens - but it's certainly worth the persistence. There are some great little baddies - every one of them quickly and smoothly animated, although they did seem to reappear quite of ten. The full price was a bit of a shock, but then again so was the game!'
'Kinetik seemed boring and unexciting at first, but after a while it began to grow on me. The gravitational effect is absolutely brilliant, just crossing a screen is a fight between player and computer! The graphics are very smooth and well animated, with the only problem being that the same nasties appear on most of the screens. FIREBIRD have really made a good job of this game, but maybe it is a little overpriced?'
'I wasn't very pleased with Kinetik. It didn't really appeal to me at first, and I didn't find much fun in it later either. The graphics are colourful, but too small and undetailed for my liking. Rather than finding that the movement effect added to the playability, I found them annoying on some of the screens. Having said that, I think that a lot of people will find it worthwhile, especially as it's one of FIREBIRD's cheaper games.'
: A up, Z down, 9 left, 0 right, O-P select instrument box, X - SYMBOL SHIFT action,Joystick
: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2Use of colour
: extraordinarily bright, and many usedGraphics
: smallish, but detailed, though nasties lack in varietySound
: above averageSkill levels
: oneGeneral Rating:
An unusual and playable game despite the powerful gravity!
Struggling against the effects of gravity is only one of the problems encountered in the brilliantly coloured screens of Kinetik.