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1989
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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44
Nick Roberts, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

The Muddy is a strange name for a mad scientist, but we know these loopy scientific types are more concerned with world domination than the stupid names their parents lumber them with. And rest assured, Mr Muddy is yer typical nasty dominating type: he and his cronies have set about making Me very miserable for a planet full of very peaceful inhabitants.

But fear not, in most stories like this a hero saves the day. Cue whirr of rotor blades and the arrival of a man-'copter called Mr Hell, who is a member of the Cosmic Hell Patrol sworn to help poor defenceless civilians and kick the crap out of the bad guys.

It's all set on a mainly horizontal scrolling planet (although the odd vertical drop has to be made), where gun emplacements, helicopters and strange creatures that look like sentient guns hassle the payer. But Mr Heli has a few weapons up his sleeve: he starts with forward and upward firing missiles and bombs. But by destroying certain parts of the scenery crystals are uncovered, and by collecting than a fair amount of cloth can be accumulated.

Once enough of the folding stuff is collected, 'shops' can be visited and such wonderful goodies as extra energy, homing missiles and extra bombs purchased. And you certainly need every weapon you can lay your hands on, 'cos the 'Judders (as the hostile denizens are known) stop at nothing to destroy the pant and everyone on It (including you).

Prolonged contact with these zenophobic creatures or their bullets isn't advised, because Mr Heli will run out of go juice and lose one of his five lives. And once you reach the end of the current level don't think that's it, because as with all 'kick the crap out of ravening alien' type games the obligatory end of level nasty rears his ugly head.

Hopefully you'll have collected loadsadosh by then, so every available weapon can be brought to bear on the despicable swine. Once he's dead, Mr Heli's quest to destroy The Muddy continues on the next level (cue stirring martial music). Probe have produced some good games in their. time, and Mr Heli despite slightly jerky scrolling and bloby sprites is rather playable.

This game is no pushoover: Mudders are a lethal bunch. Not the best shoot-'em-up I've ever seen, but not the worst either.

MARK ... 71%

CRITICISM

'Yet another game with a helicopter, but this time it isn't from CodeMasters (see the Budget section if you don't understand!. Mr Heli follows that age old format of shoot through first section, defeat end of level nasty, go on to next section. But there are a few new things on offer all the blocks in the levels can be shot to reveal icons that give extra fire power and points to help you along your way. The screen scrolls in every direction, changing when the computer feels like it, forcing you to follow suit or get killed by an on coming wall!!! All the graphics seem very chunky and awkward to move around: Mr Heli looks like an imperfect conversion from another computer. A nice tune plays throughout though. A good, fun shoot 'em up, even if the graphics could've been better.' NICK ... 80%

An initially playable shoot-'em-up that may lack long term interest.

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