YOUR FIRST encounter with Orion, from Software Projects for the 48K Spectrum, will be crucial in deciding whether you want to continue with the game. The laser rifle sound which presumably is meant to encourage you to enter play is excruciating, as is much of the noise during the action. Warning - switch out any amplifier you may be using.
The setting, at least as described on the insert, is vaguely galactic, your mission being to rescue 100 of your Beta androids from the clutches of Nedab, a space fiend, and his green Zygon guards who are also aided and abetted by purple power guzzlers. There are 25 grid-shaped caverns through which you must drive your Orion buggy, collecting four frog-like androids from each. You will be destroyed if you come into contact with the Zygons, though the buggy has force shields for protection. Movement is by the keyboard or Kempston or Soundstik joysticks.
The program is, in fact, a Pac-man variant, not offering much of any real originality, though the game is well-made and colourful. The graphics can be confusing at times, especially if you have to use the family's back-up monochrome set, and it is all too easy to mix up who you are, who they are and where you are. Despite the professional production, the concept is well-worn and will appeal mainly to inveterate maze-runners hopelessly addicted to guzzling ghosts.
Joystick: Kempston or Soundstik