Vega [1]
ZX Spectrum 48K

Chris Bourne


MIND GAME enthusiasts should find Arcturus from Visions Software Factory just the thing to occupy a few spare hours - or days. At the start of the tape are about 20 screens recounting the saga of how the Arcturans' ultimate mental challenge formed part of a plot to take over the free world and, although there seems to be no harm in it, it is not clear why it was included since it has no bearing on the game. So, unless you have nothing better to do, skip the saga and start with the demonstration of the game, which could be described as a complex form of noughts and crosses.

Each player attempts to place noughts or crosses in a line of four on either one single squared board or across the four which are shown in perspective, superimposed one above the other on the screen. What constitutes a line, difficult to grasp at first, becomes clear after a few bouts against the computer, which can operate on 10 levels of skill.

Apart from that, the game incorporates a number of other choices and refinements. You can play against another player instead of the computer, with or without sound effects, and with the clock switched on or off. You can also replay a game, load and save one, or consult the computer for help.

The screen display is clear and the method of making moves is simple and convenient; you use the cursor keys to move round the squares and press ENTER for the square you warn. For those who like to pit their wits against a computer rather than human opponents, it is a well-presented version of an unusual and interesting game.

Memory: 48K
Price: 6.95