Ocean Software Ltd
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

16
Mike Dunn, Robin Candy, Mark Rothwell
Chris Bourne

From the turmoil of interstellar war springs a splinter group which plans to destroy the ultimate weapon system - Macrogenetic Mutoids, known as Mutants.

The Mutants are contained in 15 test zones, which can be destroyed if the self-destruct components in each zone are collected and assembled in the 16th, the control zone. (When that's done you go on to the next level.)

You teleport to a test pen in Rainbow Warrior, a small one-man patrol ship. Each pen is surrounded by an energised surround which can destroy shipsm and guarded by Mutants which can destroy one of the ship's three lives.

The Mutants can be taken out using the ship's three weapons systems - slow, but big blasting missiles, rapid-fire low-level photon torpedoes, and barriers that provide a temporary shield. Only one system can be used at a time.

Components of the self-destruct device must be picked up and carried by teleporter out of the test zone and into the control zone. There you must find a way through its deadly walled corridors to the assembly point, where components can be deposited, the mechanism constructed and the universe saved as usual.

FACT: to Greenpeace environmentalists' ship sunk in New Zealand by French agents in 1985 was the ... Rainbow Warrior. Shame coinshidenshe shurely?

CRITICISM

'Though I managed to score 70 billion points in Mutants without any effort at all, literally (see future PLAYING TIPS…), the game has no addictivity at all! The graphics are nice, and the smooth ship movement is excellent, but 'there's no point having pretty graphics if the game is naff', as the old saying runs. Ocean obviously hasn't got a copy of Lloyd's Ludlovian Proverbs. Not recommended' MIKE

'The use of an icon system sets the scene for what promises to be a sophisticated game - especially as it's from a Denton Designs concept. The loading screen is very good and overall presentation is up to the Ocean standard; the graphics are striking and colourful. But the use of biological terms to describe each Mutant (a bit pointless, except to high-level biology students) and a rough icon-selection system seem to be hiding the fact the Mutants is basically a shoot-'em-up with a few extras chucked in. As shoot-'em-ups go it's playable but not compelling, and though it's a nice-looking game it's sadly lacking in gameplay.' ROBIN

'My first reaction to Mutants was positive, but after a while I started to realise that for all its pretty graphics and icon-selections it's just a basic shoot-'em-up with a difficult control system. The graphics are good, clear and well-defined, especially on the icon choice/launch screen, but sound consists of deafening silence (save for the inevitable blasting effects). Mutants is a good game let down by limited and repetitive gameplay.' MARK

COMMENTS
Control keys
Use of colour: well used throughout
Graphics: very attractive
Sound: little except for a few sparse spot FX
Skill levels: one
Screens: constantly scrolling
General Rating: Initially interesting but offers little longterm challenge.

76%
79%
60%
54%
58%

Screenshot Text

The attractive main option screen from Mutants; from the icnons you select fire power (top three) and start play (lower icon).

One of the game screens in Mutants - you're into the galactic dump where you deposit collected objects.