1984
Arcade: Platform
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

36,37
Chris Bourne

Underneath one more of Software Projects lively inlay covers is a colour entry code card and THE STORY: After weeks of waiting the Space Freighter has nearly reached your settlement on Planet CS - but disaster…

A sudden meteor shower has devastated the ship, and its cargo of Resource Blocks has been scattered over the planet. The people have elected you to journey outside the settlement and round up the Blocks. Unfortunately this is unexplored terrain and there are many dangers - naturally.

In fact there are 15 varying screens in what is basically a novel platform game with very simple control keys. At the base there is the flashing transporter base onto which the Resource Blocks (three per screen) must be pushed. These blocks appear in awkward places on the screen and Astronut moves them by pushing against them until they fall from one level to the next one down and so on until they can be pushed onto the transporter block, at which poin the next one appears somewhere. Volcanoes or stairs automatically whisk Astronut upwards and he may jump down from any height. Various aliens waft about causing mayhem, but Astronut may leave behind bombs to destroy them, although the bombs have a time delay on them.

Any of the 15 screens may be entered at the start of a game by the select menu, and each of these is quite different from any of the others, with its own distinct problems.

CRITICISM

'Astronut lives up to Software Projects' standards. It has some excellent graphics (and imaginative ones). The game itself is very playable and has that magical addictive quality about it. Not MM or JSW but it is still excellent (in some ways even better, like bigger more colourful graphics) Another winner from Software Projects . (It's a pity the screens don't have names - a competition perhaps?'

'Astronut is one of those magical games that looks simple to play and indeed is simple to play but difficult to get through! The combination of volcanoes which whoosh you up but only at a given second, and the opening/closing platforms that get in the way, often stopping you half way up when you wanted to go all the way up, makes for a very jolly game with plenty of addictivity. Its a pity that Software Projects forgot all the instructions to tell you the keys, they're neither on screen nor the inlay. The level select menu says to use Z and X, which indicates those keys for left and right, but I spent a while looking for up and down before realising they weren't needed, and did a lot of dying before I realised you could drop bombs. Still, an excellent game.'

'The first thing that really strikes you about Astronut is the lack of instruction. Well, after sorting out the key problem I could start playing Astronut which is similar in appearance to JSW but plays in a way similar to a 'Pengo' game. I quite enjoyed playing this one which is both challenging and fun and has quite a few screens to keep you happy for a while. Overall Astronut is a standard platform game, graphically very good and a good game generally.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: not stated anywhere, but they are Z/X left/right and ENTER to drop time bomb
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: very simple, and responsive
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: very good, varied and detailed
Sound: continuous, but with on/off facility (0)
Skill levels: only 1 but each screen has a different problem
Lives: 3
Screens: 15
General Rating: Very good to excellent, addictive and playable.

80%
87%
84%
66%
83%
84%
81%

Screenshot Text

You'll have to box clever on this one.