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Code Masters Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

For us inhabitants of the third planet from the sun, Jupiter is one of the more further flung lumps of the firmament. Beyond Uranus even. But Code Masters zowie cheapie, wham bam shoot 'em up, Jupiter Mission, takes you right there.

Joystick and keyboard compatible, Jupiter Mission has that rare facility, the two up mode. There's no other token gesture of sophistcation, though, you simply jetpack across the smoothly scrolling screen, leaping obstacles and zapping away.

You have five lives, and on the way you can pick up fuel and laser power. Their changing status is shown on screen, as well as your current score and the previous hi score. However, to get anywhere near being in the frame of fame, you must fight your way through ten levels, which requires treeeemendous if not 110% (er, thanks Mike. Ed) concentration.

The levels don't really get progressively difficult, it's just your trigger finger starts to wear out, there's so much mega-death to dispense. Mind you, I did find the trajectory of the bouncing balls on level 5 tricky, especially as there's some cunningly placed hurdles to negotiate at the same time.

All this takes place against a backdrop which suggests Jupiter is full of jungles and defunct sets from never broadcast episodes of Sting Ray. I'm afraid Jupiter Mission is not only cheap, it looks cheap, and is no addition to the galaxy of games the good ol' Speccy can disport with.

There are loads of great shoot 'em ups about these days - pity this isn't one of them!