1987
Puzzle
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

66
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Is Motos Mastertronic's first coin-op licence? (Answers on a postcard to someone else please)

The game was originally an arcade machine by Namco and this looks to be a moderately faithful conversion.

Anyway, true conversion or not, the game is fabulous.

What can be more satisfying than pushing nasty alien bees off the safety of a psychedelic platform (actually it also looks like the disco floor from Saturday Night Fever) into the endless silent world of infinite space? Not much you'll agree.

Motos is s kind of like marbles, but don't let that put you off. The idea is simple - you try to bump assorted alien shapes off a sort of grid. This is, at its simplest just a matter of bashing into them from behind. Bash them long enough in the right direction and they'll fall off. But...

The first problem is bouncing. Everything has a mass and a momentum and once you get several aliens bouncing around it's very easy to find yourself rather than the aliens falling into interstellar space. The second problem is that whilst you have enough 'barge power' to push off the silly round aliens once you get on to later levels your standard barge power is not enough to deal with such exotic things as alien bees and other insects. These latter opponents have considerably more barge power than you and you need to accumulate bonus power points to stand a hope in hell of getting them off the edge.

Then there's this other problem. If you take too long to clear a level, alien bolts start wizzing across the screen destroying not only everything in their path but also the very platform on which you're standing. Then of course there's the question of holes - some of the levels are riddled with holes - you did pick up the 'jump' pills when you had the chance didn't you? Otherwise...

Aside from the sheer fun of playing cosmic dodgems there is a strong element of strategy in Motos. You accumulate power and jump pills but you don't have to use them. And if you decide to use them how much will you need? Will one unit of bonus power be enough? Better not get it wrong though - if you underestimate and die you never get that wasted energy back. Partly it's a matter of knowing the levels - are you likely to need jumps or not? How much power to get rid of bees?

In terms of programming the work from Binary Design (Zub, Amaurote) ) is easily as good as anything done for say, Ocean or US Gold at full price.

The graphics are smooth - smooth enough to capture beautifully the sense of momentum and detail of movement the game requires.

You can opt for a colour or monochrome display but I can't believe anyone will find what slight attribute clash there is unacceptable on the colour version.

On 128K the sound is excellent, both the Dambusters march at the beginning and the various wibbly sound effects as you plummet into space.

I made it through around nine levels before the massed enemy forces got too much for me but there are over thirty to get through.

I'm going back for more. This game is astoundingly addictive and. good grief, it costs £2.99. What else can you possibly want?

Label:
Author:
Price: £.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

Original idea, excellent conversion, addictive, fast, furious, clever and strategic. All for £2.99. Highly recommended.

10/10

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PROGRAMMERS

BINARY DESIGN is an independent programming house building itself a lot of credibility with quality budget products like Zub, Amaurote and 180. Motos is the work of two people, Matthew Rhodes and Jason Brooke.

MATTHEW RHODES: responsible for the basic conversion, working directly from the coin-op - it took him about three months.

SOFTOGRAPHY: Grange Hill (Argus 1986), Xenos (Argus, 1986)

JASON BROOKE: responsible for the music track on the game.

SOFTOGRAPHY: Miami Dice (Bug Byte, 1986), Defcom (Argus, 1986)