1987
Arcade: Action
£7.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

12
Nick Roberts, Paul Sumner
Chris Bourne

Some nasties won't accept a 'game-over' when they see it - VENOM, the association of evil people, is on the march again just months after its defeat in Gremlin Grpahics's monochromatic key-collecting game MASK 1 (81% Overall in Issue 45). And so the agents of MASK are back in action (and in colour) too, saving the world in Gremlin's second licence based on the TV series and Kenner Parker toys.

Matt Trakker and his colleagues are faced with three missions. Firstly the president of the Peaceful Nations Alliance has been kidnapped and without him a vital treaty cannot be concluded. He must be rescued and taken to a helipad whence he can fly to the summit talks.

Secondly, VENOM has nearly completed building a base in the Middle East. And as you've guessed, they're out to control oilfields. The base can be destroyed, but only if a missile within it is located and detonated by the MASK team.

An thirdly, a large ruby worshipped by jungle monks has been purloined by VENOM and incorporated into a laser weapon. The gem must be returned and the laser destroyed.

To combat VENOM, you start off by selecting your team members and vehicles. The right choice of vehicles is essential, though fortunately you can get different ones as the game progresses and conditions change.

There are five MASK vehicles: the Thunder Hawk (sports car/jet), the Rhino (an armed battering ram), the Condor (a motorbike-cum-helicopter) and the Gator (an off-road vehicle that converts into a hydroplane).

All MASK vehicles are heavily armed, because VENOM might attack in land-based craft, submarines or helicopters. If a MASK vehicle is damaged, it can aquire extra armour - provided the damage isn't too severe. Otherwise it has to be abandoned.

Running out of fuel is another hazard, and the Thunder Hawk uses rather a lot.

It's bound to be a dangerous and exciting day for MASK. And no doubt at the end there'll be another licence.

CRITICISM

This is an amazing change from MASK 1. The whole concept is much more attractive and playable - with the graphics being the most impressive feature. However, thought the action is fast and involving, I never felt in full control of what was going on; the collision-detection is very suspect, too, and lacks consistency. Still, it's much better-looking than MASK 1, and a much stronger tie-in.' PAUL ... 82%

'The difference between this and the last MASK game are incredible. MASK 1 was just another boring scrolling-background game, but here the graphics have been excellently-drawn and colour has been used to great effect. Each mission is as exciting as the previous, because the objectives are so different, and MASK II is a top class game.' NICK … 90%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: very colourful with detailed sprites
Sound: few sound effects and a simple tune
General Rating: A playable and attractive tie-in, much more lively and fun than MASK 1 (which wasn't too bad itself).

83%
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81%

Screenshot Text

MASK II: colourful graphics and varied gameplay.