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Richard Brisbourne
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

We're at war again and fanatical elements have seized control of a heavily defended complex containing the ultimate nuclear deterrent, a Doomsday device constructed to cause worldwide devastation. The timer on this bomb has already started and is set to explode in twenty-five minutes. You must pilot your fighter bomber to the building and destroy It. Omega Run hovers between being a flight simulation and a straightforward game, but in the end, due to the fantasy nature of the scenario and the fact that the instrumentation is not based on anything actual, we decided to slot this under a game heading.

The screen displays a wide cockpit view with instruments below. The enemy's defences are prodigious and consist of laser fields, which shoot beams up into the sky, and which must be avoided by dodging around them; fighter aircraft, which may be dodged but should be shot down otherwise they just keep on your tail; anti-aircraft fire which homes in on you If you fly above 350 feet; and ground-to-air missiles, which are more frequent lower down.

Another problem is that your aircraft carries insufficient fuel for the run, so you must rendezvous with a tanker for in-flight refuelling.

Your instrumentation provides a clock with minutes and seconds left before the Doomsday bomb explodes, a compass with your heading indicated, an altitude meter, a tanker/target locator, which is kept centred for an accurate heading, a miles-to-tanker/ target indicator, and three bar codes for fuel level, ammunition level and damages status. There is also a rear view screen warning of enemy fighters with message display.


'Omega Run' has an excellent on-screen introduction, which not only describes the object of the game fully, but demonstrates the instruments, how they work, and what the cockpit view looks like when you are flying in various aspects. All the instruction screens dissolve one from another like in a film, and when it's all through you can then alter the conditions, like distance to target, numbers of enemy fighters and laser fields, and target run up.'

'It keeps you on your toes okay, fighters, lasers, ackack, missiles, all coming thick and faster as you near the target, which is a red block. The instruments simplify your task and are very well designed. I liked the view, a dark blue, flecked with white, as though you were flying over the sea at night. The sky seems to light up when the AA guns are firing at you. Perhaps it's asking too much, but it would have been nice to see enemy aircraft firing back at you! As it is, the screen flashes when they are. 1 found it highly addictive to play with plenty of scope for improving skill. What would be good in one of these flight games, Is if they used a perspective grid to indicate the ground in lieu of any realistic landscape, that would really increase the feeling of speed.'

Control keys: cursors and zero to fire
Joystick: Kempston, AGF, Protek
Keyboard play: very responsive
Colour very good
Graphics: very good, with effective 3D
Sound: good effects
Skill levels: 5 selectable, with additional customisation
Lives: percentage of damage allowed
General Rating: playable, addictive and recommended.


Screenshot Text

Lining up a shot on an enemy fighter.