Infogrames
1988
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

16,17
Paul Sumner, Kati Hamza, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Lee Enfield, master of time travel and troubleshooter extraordinaire, has been called to the 22nd Century to rescue his old friend Bill. With no support other than his sophisticated laser rifle he attempts to blast the forces sent by the formidable Yellow Shadow.

The battle takes place among the complex structures of the planet's stark, grey surface, as displayed from Lee's viewpoint. Camouflaged against futuristic walkways, panels and girders the enemy, comprising robot soldiers, galactic monsters, individually train their weapons upon the heroic troubleshooter.

Lee's sophisticated laser rifle is sensitive to the enemy's location and indicates, by an arrow at the bottom of the screen, the direction in which he needs to train his sights. It gives off a ringing signal which becomes extremely high pitched when an opponent is ready to shoot. Should Lee fail to locate and kill the sniper before he fires, one of his six lives is lost. However, a short-lived magnetic shield can be employed for extra protection.

To complete each round, Lee must destroy the magnetic meteor globe, a bouncing sphere which throws his laser rifle's sights askew. Once this mesmerising enemy has been defeated, a lift arrives to transport him up to the next level.

Three grades of difficulty permit Lee to progress from novice to space ace at his own pace. His score, which can win him extra lives, is displayed at the base of the screen.

CRITICISM

'Lee Enfield, celebrated space ace turns out to be a fairly ordinary warrior with a souped-up machine gun. Grpahically, the 22nd century is out of focus: a shapeless blurr of monochrome pixels, in which the sprites are splodgy and difficult to distinguish. Gameplay lacks depth and compulsion, and none of the action bears any relation to the real object of mission - the rescue of Bill. Those snipers which are distinguishable as humans die so slowly you can't be sure. Considering the quality of some budget games, it's ridiculous to demand such an exorbitantly high price for a game as bland and dull as this.' KATI

'What a weird title! Lee Enfield is 'Space Ace' is identical in gameplay to the now-aging Prohibition, also by Infogrames (quelle surprise!). The background that you play on is very detailed as are the aliens that you have to shoot. When you mix the two together, though, the result is rather messy. Soundwise, there's just the basic beep of the counter and a realistic machine gun noise when you shoot. Infogrames seem to be very good at producing games with good graphics but absolutely appalling gameplay. Shooting the odd alien before it shoots you isn't exactly great fun and soon grows boring. Lee Enfield Is 'Space Ace' would be more suited to a budget label: £7.95 definitely isn't value for money.' NICK

'What's this then? Prohibition with corrupted graphics? Sure looks like it, nothing else has changed - or improved. How anyone can ask people to pay £7.95 for such a blatant copy of the original is beyond me - and an inferior follow-up at that. There are hundreds of words that come near describing Lee Enfield Is 'Space Ace' - insipid, monotonous, tedious - but few can actually capture the boredom created by this uneventful game. All there is to it is a few monochrome graphics, and due to their design even these turn into a background looking more like washing-up powder than a computer game. Infogrames succeeded with their previous release Sidewalk, but this comes nowhere near the mark.' PAUL

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor. Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: very hard to distinguish the baddies from the backgrounds
Sound: simplistic spot effects
Options: three levels of difficulty
General Rating: Complexity at the expense of playability.

52%
40%
39%
52%
49%