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Zeppelin Games Ltd
Brian Cross, Tink
1989
Arcade: Maze
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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47
Marcus Berkmann
Chris Bourne

And still the variations continue. What's next? I myself am currently writing Ninja Vet, which some people (like the software company) seem to think is about Vietnam veterans, but is really about sticking your hands up cows' bottoms (make sure you're wearing rubber gloves). Ninja Commando, meanwhile, is about nothing much at all, a pallid chase-about in underground caverns - which bears only the slightest similarity to all its 349,250 ninja predecessors. For yes, there is no fighting. To kill the baddies in this horizontal scroller, you just have to jump on them. Squash enough and a ninja star appears from nowhere. Kill enough with that and you get a beumb. (A beumb? Ed) After that it's a fairly nifty flame thrower (sorts out the men from the charred corpses, doncha know), and then a machine gun, which shows you're not just mucking about (especially as all your enemies appear to be unarmed). Meanwhile, you have to get through eight multi-screen scrolling levels, and, if you do, you win the game

Is it worth it though? Well, if you were a fan of Rolling Thunder, you may well like this, but on the whole it's not a terribly exciting game. Although the graphics are impressive, and there are no complaints on playability or speed, there's an indefinable something missing from this game. Addictiveness? Excitement? That tangy aroma of squeezed lemons? All three, I'd say, which makes the game something of a neatly programmed damp squib. There's just not enough variety in the gameplay to keep you fully gripped, and no amount of brilliant graphics can make up for that. Not, I think, a long termer.

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