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Arcade: Maze
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

Mariiinaaa. Aqua Mariiiinaaa! Yes folks, it's return of the Stingray-esque game and this is the most Stingray-ish game I've ever played. This Stingray feel is produced because: i) it's under water, ii) The animation is dreadful, iii) it somehow manages to look quite good, iv) it gets tedious after you've seen it once.

Your mission is to find four somethings before storming the installation where the evil what'stheirnames are leading their domination of the world's air and shipping lanes. Nothing original there eh? So, you set off in your NATO designed Aquaslashkickmain kill-a-tron, and what do your find? Well, no Aquaphibians for a start, which shattered illusions about Stingray, but to make it worse, the graphics are badly handled so the game quickly becomes uninteresting.

The sprites for all the enemies are very slow to get anywhere near you, but considering that you also move around at around 1 mile every zillion years, and your torpedoes also move at roughly half the speed of Sylvester Stallone's brain (we are talking SLOW here) there is not much in the way of eyeball dangling action. The sound coming over the hydrophones - no! speakers (sorry it's just another attack of the Stingrays) is wimpish beyond belief. Beeps and farts don't come into it here, are talking clicks, and nothing else. You have to your ship very, very precisely or you'll just end up dead on the first few screens every time, just like me.

Atlantis have a knack of producing good looking games (remember The Sceptre of Bhagdad) but should include more interesting features in this game. A few different weapons wouldn't go amiss.

Below average even for a budget game, I personally wouldn't recommend it, but some people quite like simple games (even if they are mind bogglingly boring).

Label: Atlantis
Author: In-house
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Poor underwater blast, don't be fooled by the nice graphics.