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Mastertronic Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

The city of Xenon is under siege! The bunch of nasty alien invaders also wiped out the dry defence system while they were at it Most of the inhabitants of Xenon got out when the place was evacuated, but as usual a few hapless idiots got left behind (must have left the cooker on and missed the train out!). A Panther ground attack craft has been provided to rescue them, and it turns out you are the only sucker who learnt how to fly one at school! Your day to be a hero has arrived!

Aliens have been sighted in the city, over the water that surrounds it and in the dessert beyond. Dotted over the landscape are bunkers where your little people are hiding from the enemy. You start off in the desert shooting down all the alien waves you come across and stopping at every bunker to pick up survivors.

The diagonally scrolling landscape of Panther is made up of seas, buildings, railway tracks and of course aliens, all detailed and complete with shadows. To stop the risk of colour clash, the whole landscape is monochromatic making things quite hard to see. Shooting the aliens may seem easy, but they not only swerve from left to right, they also go up and down: match their height to blast them from the skies. You can speed over the landscape to outrun the aliens, but then you run the risk of flying over the people to be saved and missing them altogether.

Panther is original, well presented, playable and provides a challenge for even the hardened gamesplayer.