Reaktor
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£8.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

96,97
Mike Dunn, Paul Sumner
Chris Bourne

Propelled by his own arrogant search for speed, Chuck Harrison is catapulted into The Other World in his new jet fighter.

There he is trapped amongst phalanxes of alien ships which will rip his ship apart with their touch. To avoid or destroy them, Chuck must skilfully manoeuvre his fighter above a horizontally-scrolling landscape, without dropping too low and hitting the scenery.

Captain Chuck's plane carries a fearsome array of weaponry, but as the game begins only his basic quark cannon is in service. A successful shot takes out enemy space ships and earns points, and as some of these enemy spacecraft disintegrate they release energy pods which correspond to different weapon types. Chuck can collect these and so enhance his arsenal. The first pod gathered energises the appropriate weapon, and the next activates it.

Blasters (two-way, three-way, four-way and seven-way), a wide beam and a laser blaster are all available this way. Life and speed pods are also worth picking up.

However, if the energy pod collected doesn't correspond to the type of weapon then in use, that weapon cuts out and its energy levels must be increased before it becomes operational again. And recharging becomes more difficult as courageous Chuck delves deeper into the wilds of alien territory.

There are eight levels and seven bonus levels for Harrison to fight his way through. After destroying so many enemy craft that they surrender, he gains access to the next level.

Two former Ariolasoft technical consultants, Gary Yorke and James Poole, joined forces to form the design house Bettertech - and this is their first product, released by their old employers (Reaktor is one of those crazy, crazy Ariolasoft labels).

CRITICISM

'I sat patiently through a pointlessly complicated loading system waiting to be impressed by what the inlay boasted would be a 'Psychedelic Experience'. I was greeted by a monochrome shoot-'em-up! The graphics are poorly-designed and confusing, the scrolling is jerky, and the sprites move several character squares at a time when the action speeds up. Bugs abound, with bits of static landscape and enemy ships appearing all over the screen, and there are virtually no sound effects (though the title theme is passable). If a new design house decides to make its debut with yet another Zynaps clone, the programming and presentation must make up for the clapped-out concept. In Out Of This World the implementation accentuates that unoriginality - it's embarrassingly bad.'

MIKE ... 27%

'The only thing out of this world about this game is the setting. The graphics and gameplay are only average, and Reaktor's attempt at a Defender/Nemesis-type game lacks is enough variation to keep the playing interested for more than a few games. No matter how far you get, all that happens is that a few aliens appear from out of nowhere in the middle of the screen, do a few spins, then give you their kindest regards and move on. And as if that's not bad enough, when you die you don't get a great big explosion, or even crash to the ground - you disappear. It's quite off-putting; this can go on for two or three seconds and even then you might have just got lost in the scenery or had a bit of dodgy character-collision. Out Of This World is very simple, and certainly not effective.' PAUL ... 35%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: monochromatic and badly animated
Sound: a few effects add little to the game
General Rating: A very disappointing clone, with none of its genre's good characteristics but all the bad.

51%
36%
43%
32%
33%