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Martech Games Ltd
1987
Arcade: Maze
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

67
Rachael Smith
Chris Bourne

Absolutely no comment on the title, because I'm in enough trouble with she-who-must-be-obeyed (Do they mean me? Ed), who seems a mite jealous about my new all over holiday tan. But the is a game to get you pulsing, pounding... throbbing even. And what's more, it's not bad.

Seems like after the shoot 'em up revival it's time for the return of the maze game, but no simple ghost gobbling. This is one of the mega-big mazes with all sorts of nasty transport devices, one way gates, keys and the like, made all the more difficult by the way the screens flip. Until you get down to some serious mappinq you're likely to go round and round in circles without any real clue where you are.

I'm a bit rusty on the plot because our super deluxe preview copy escaped from the Martech maze with little more than a list of its sprites. However, it doesn't take too much up top to deduce that you have to rescue live Pulsys, which are locked up in the complex (Good thing, because you've not got too much up top! Ed).

Handling your Pulsator isn't too difficult, though once you've started it on a course it continues until it runs into a wall, or a baddie - whichever conies first. The baddies tend to sap your strength, in the time honoured fashion of all computer game baddies.

But taking that baddie recognition course may not be a bad idea, because some of them have special powers. There's the fiend who blocks a path. You can charge him, destroying him but losing a life, or you can seek a longer, potentially more dangerous route.

Of course, if you can find a diamond shield you're protected with the Pulsator ring of confidence for a full thirty seconds, which gives you time enough to do a lot of damage to their forces. Collect the oil cans too, and oi'l be seeing you later, because they give you more power and extra strength.

But the key features of the game are the doors (Groan). As you move around the maze you'll pass through numbered boxes. The first time through gives the relevant key, but the next encounter with such a box removes it again. You need to plan your route carefully so that you don't lose keys just before you need them.

The graphics are serviceable, though not awe inspiring. Why is it that so many Spectrum games now are based on balls? Couldn't be that a rotating sphere is easy to animate, could it? But 128K owners should hang around awhile at the start. The music may start soft but it grows into one of those speaker shakers that show offs with other machines used to use to kick sand in your rubber keyed whisperer.

My conclusion? Pulsator should please the player who ponders and produces maps. One to get your pulses pulsating!

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