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Mastertronic Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Jenkins
Chris Bourne

More than a touch of the Quazatrons about this, one of the latest batch of Mastertronic minimasterpieces.

While the plot is very much the same as Andrew Braybrook's Hewson classic, in Level V the graphics are pretty minimal. However, the gameplay is fast and furious, and there's enough action to keep you playing way past the £1.99 value-for-money mark.

There are five levels to complete, each depicted in top-down 2D in the central section of the screen. You are trapped in an enemy space pod - well, I did warn you about wandering off on your own - and between you and the exit are five levels of mazes and lethal warrior robots.

For some reason, you look like a revolving Bisodol and the war robots resemble hyperactive amoebae, but you get the idea.

The play area scrolls reasonably happily as you move around searching for nasties to zap with your phaser. Contact with them means a loss of shield power, and zapping them uses up ammo, both of which can be replaced by finding a refuelling point and sitting there for a breather. Not too long, though, or the baddies will gang up on you.

Computer terminals give you access to a map of each level, which you can scroll around to locate the refuelling points, baddies, terminals and the lift. Ah, the lift! This allows you to move up to higher levels - but not, of course, before you've exterminated all the warrior robots.

Will anyone be surprised to hear that later levels feature more, faster, baddies, and the chance to gain more powerful weapons? No, I thought not.

There's a nice high-score feature which tells you how many robots you managed to zap before they returned the favour, and the obligatory time-limit in which to complete each level.

Some excellent extra touches, such as the animated lift sequence and the opening and closing doors, don't really add much to the game itself but, nonetheless, you'll enjoy working your way through the levels and the hails of phaser bolts, at least until you've cracked Level V once.

Few frills, but a few thrills.

Label: Mastertronic
Author: In-house
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Nothing original here, but, nevertheless, there's enough to keep you engrossed a good few hours.


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BLUE TEXT are a relatively unknown group of programmers. Having worked previously for an established system software house, they are more used to spending their time producing business packages for the IBM PC! So it was something of a brave decision to produce a game instead.

And as a first effort Lethal V certainly shows that Blue Text have potential in the games field. Hope this will be the first of many.