Mirrorsoft Ltd
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

19
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Forget Slap Fight, forget Terra Cresta, forget every top to bottom screen scrolling blast 'em up you ever saw.

Moon Strike - despite its unspeakably boring name - is the best. Not only is it smoother, more challenging, more highly detailed and generally slicker, it's funnier.

The game would be dull were it not for the excellence of the programming and the wryness of some of the humour. Things begin well with the loading screen, more of a movie actually. Some sort of awesome programming technique has been used to enable the game to be loaded whilst the screen tells you - with words and moving pictures - the plot of the game. The effect is not unlike the graphic bits in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and it's jolly good fun.

The plot? Forget it - just assume mad professors and saving the world an' stuff and that you have carte blanche to total everything. That's all that matters.

Unlike Slap Fight, Moon Strike isn't too serious about itself. Some of the shapes you need to destroy are of the conventional alien sort, bubbles, saucers and the rest. On the other hand there are some decidedly bizarre obstacles in your path, the product of an imagination possibly even more deranged that Matthew Smith's. Watch out for the dentures, note also the light bulbs which float down-screen at you (the way the underlying landscape is distorted through the glass is amazing), and finally you see the Mona Lisa. Yep old Mona herself can be bombed into oblivion.

Now all this wacky stuff could backfire were it not for the fact that the graphics are superb, not only is the movement smooth but the objects are large and detailed. More even than that, somebody in the development team can draw and draw well. It makes all the difference.

There are other good things about Moon Strike. I found it a great relief to have a game which, although being fiendishly difficult doesn't shove you back to the beginning again if you fail.

Moon Strike has only one failing - it isn't an original overall concept. Actually it's a stunningly unoriginal one.

In every other respect, though, it's a winner - brilliant graphics, smooth scrolling animation and challenging gameplay.

Label: Mirrorsoft
Author: Binary Innovations
Price: £7.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

Moon Strike is very un-original - that's a minus. But in every other way it's great. Looks fantastic plays as good as it looks.

8/10

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HINTS AND TIPS

The round bullets that hurtle around the screen are not necessarily fatal - the extremities of your ship (that's wing tips to you) may safely pass over them.

It is possible - vital actually - to blast the large ground based pod that spills out bombs but it needs careful timing -

Wait for it to explode and the second your gunsight is over the middle release a bomb and hurtle off to the right.

The Mona Lisa - blow up her nose to take her head off.

PROGRAMMERS

DANNY NEVILLE and JONOTHAN NEVILLE make up a new programming team called Bianry Innovations. Both are based in New Zealand and neither has ever had a program released commercially before. Moon Strike is their first effort!