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Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

Eeek! What a way to die! Stuck in an infernal alien universe with no way out other than to buy your way to freedom.

You begin on one of three start levels at various points around the 10 levels. Each level is a large, multi-scrolling area of walls and nasties. The basic idea is to collect all the diamonds that are scattered about on each of the levels to gain access to the next. Of course, it goes without saying, each screen gets progressively harder (then why did you say it? -GT).

Just to make the game that little bit more difficult, you are given an amazingly short time limit in which to get around and collect all the gems on each level. Luckily it is possible to find hour-glasses that top your time back up to maximum.

Some of the diamonds are hidden in some pretty obscure places. Some groups are completely surrounded by what seems to be an impenetrable wall.

Or is it? Maybe not. Bounce around it for a bit and sure enough, one of the blocks is a cleverly projected hologram, carefully constructed to look like the real thing.

Your ship is a small, rotating hoop-like affair, that can zip in and out of the maze of platforms quite quickly, which it needs to be able to do, what with the short time limit and the nasties.

The aliens consist of two types. Free roamers, that bounce all over the shop, and cause some real painful damage to your craft. These are produced by alien generators that can be found from the mid-levels onward.

The other type of nasty is the demon. These rotten creatures sit on ledges next to large supplies of gems, and stop you by just chucking hundreds of bubbles at you. Luckily, these can be shot down and some of the bubbles leave lots of special toys for you to play with. These range from extra points to two very destructive weapons. One weapon gives you the power to destroy demons on contact. The other is a brick smasher to help you break through games.

Netherworld seems to be 10 levels of the same old thing. There doesn't seem to be enough game in there to warrant any form of long term playing.

The graphics are quite nice and detailed. I particularly like the huge skulls on one of the later levels. Animation is quite fluent, though the scrolling is more than a little jerky.

Sound is confined to well within the Spectrum's limits, but funnily enough, there is some mega-fab 128K music.

A slightly disappointing conversion of the not-so-hot Commodore 64 game.

Label: Hewson
Author: Chris Wood
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

A sad conversion from the Commie. Hours of sheer boredom guaranteed.