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Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Chris Bourne

Features: 100% machine code, on-screen scoring, hi score, freeze frame. This is a 3-part arcade game. Stage one is a berserk variation. You find your man at the centre of the screen, standing at the open crossing between four rooms, containing diamond shaped baffles and several purple robots or 'dreaded blind mutons' as the inlay blurb describes them.

Despite their blindness they fire away into the dark at random, keeping you on your toes. Your controls are asteroidal, ie rotate left and right, thrust and fire. The program allows for continuous fire/rotation/thrust. The walls of the rooms are electrified and must be avoided and we got the feeling some of the diamonds killed us off too. Otherwise it's fairly easy to kill off the mutons, which leads you into stage two.

Now you're faced with an Arcadia copy. Staggered rows of alien ships sail across the screen from left to right and your ship can move across the bottom of the screen or thrust up to avoid the wedges of aliens as they get lower. At first it all seems pretty easy to hit them, but every ship hit turns into a falling missile. A clever move this, since it forces you to move the instant after firing - and meaner still, the missiles don't vanish when they hit the ground, but wrap vertically round the screen. So the more ships you hit the more the screen fills with flying weaponry.

Stage three pits you against pterodactyl-like creatures with strange habits - but we won't spoil your fun and tell you what happens when you shoot one.

Now as it does not provide a standard joystick option anyone using a programmable interface will have to load the game first to discover the keys: However they are: rotate left: Caps Shift; rotate right:Z; thrust: H - ENTER: Fire: Y-P: Pause:6-0; and S starts the game.


Critical comments: Here's a collection of what our three reviewers had to say.

"The idea of putting three types of arcade game into one is quite good, but of course, it depends on whether you like the type of games chosen, and more importantly, whether each is well done. In this case I think it works quite well."

"The graphics in this game are all quite small, ie one character size."

"Odyssey 1 packs quite a lot into its 16K, but that does tend to restrict the quality of the graphics, which are not very detailed."

"The graphics could prove a drawback since the game is now competing with games of a much higher graphic standard, although shoot 'em-up games all tend to be pretty simple graphically."

"Odyssey 1 is a good mixture of well known arcade games which makes excellent use of colour, has very good graphics and there's a brilliant use of sound. Words fail this game- brilliant.


Screenshot Text

Timothy Williams' prize winning ODYSSEY 1. First screen is a 'Berserk' type.