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1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links


20,21
Robin Candy, Mike Dunn, Mark Rothwell
Chris Bourne

The aliens are invading and Mag Max, a robocenturion, has been created to save the threatened planet- just in time. His builders were destroyed by the attackers from outer space, and Mag Max must find all his components, scattered about the continents. Only then can he accomplish his ultimate programmed task in this shoot- 'em-up from a Nitchibutsu coin-op original.

His defending craft can move across the scrolling surface of the planet, and through the cavernous underworld that lies beneath its skin.

Aliens come in a myriad of forms: from death masks to yachts, from ice-cream cones to Cyclopean balls. Mag Max can evade but not destroy their blasts and shots, and he risks losing one of his six lives when he comes into contact with the aliens or their structures.

Craters pocking the planet's surface and the passageways beneath transport Mag Max to other, more perilous locations where more enemies await.

Mag Max's basic armament is a Super-Laser with a limitless supply of power, which can eliminate aliens and their constructions (and thus earn you points). And as he gathers his components into his ever-filling innards, he gains strength, defensive force and firepower.

Mag can also gather weaponry that doubles and quadruples his firepower; some invaders can only be destroyed with the special lance in the robot craft's weaponry. But each time he's hit by an alien, Mag loses the last weapon he acquired.

When a stage is completed, Mag encounters the leader of the invading hordes - and must vanquish him before going on to the next level.

CRITICISM

'The brilliant loading screen raises expectations, but the first time you play it Mag Max looks absolutely terrible; the graphics are simple and monochromatic. BUT the game itself is very playable. Mag Max is basically a shoot-'em-up with a few hilly extras. Collecting the robot's parts adds a new dimension to the game: with each part your ship becomes more powerful but more vulnerable, because you Increase in size. For all this, it's not particularly addictive - there just isn't enough depth. Mag Max is let down by its graphic presentation and lack of addictive qualities, and is certainly overpriced for an average shoot-'em-up.' ROBIN

'As this game loaded I thought it was another 'save the world from the aliens' bore. But it's really quite good. The graphics are small but clear - especially the aliens, wandering around the screen making a nuisance of themselves. Just getting past the first few waves will make you want to keep playing. Though the idea - flying a spaceship round the screen picking up pieces of equipment to aid your mission - is not new, this game has for me that quality of making you want to see just one more screen. And with those aliens about it's difficult. Still, by before you buy.' MARK

'At first play, I really disliked Mag Max because of the awful perspective technique; everything gives a false sense of depth and position, so I found myself doing quite a bit of exploding! But ten minutes of concentration helped resolve the problem, and once you get used to the poor graphics and odd collision- detection Mag Max becomes a reasonable-to good shoot-'em-up. The sound FX aren't anything astounding, but the title tune is quite nice. Overall Mag Max is a nice bit of blasting; but it's marred by the terrible perspective view.' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q/A up/down, N/M left/right, SPACE to fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Use of colour: generally drab in tone
Graphics: mostly small, though reasonably detailed
Sound: poor
Skill levels: one
General Rating: Somewhat mixed feelings, with Mark finding it more fun than the others did, but everyone agreed that it's an above average shoot-'em-up.

71%
52%
69%
65%
67%

Screenshot Text

In one of the subterranean levels, Max encounters a variety of alien fighters.

Left of screen, Max on wheels roars along using laser he's just acquired.