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

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Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

In the near future, Man has used up all the earth's resources in creating lots of spy satellites and Star Wars weapons and lots of other things to protect himself from himself. So, in the tradition of putting things in the sky, the various nations have come up with a space energy platform, designed to catch any space energy that might just be floating about and send it down to earth. Due to various technical complexities, the platform is almost completely defenceless, so your job is to fly around its general vicinity, guarding it. From what? From the alien invaders haven't mentioned before. Aliens have decided to take over the Earth (don't they always) and the easy way to get at the people of Earth is to cut off their power. Simple, innit?

The platform is made up of a grid of screens. Each screen is viewed as a small section of spaceship, with lots of galleys and walkways, and it looks quite a lot like Intensity. On each screen, you'll find 4 basic items. (For details, see box). The idea is to reflect the rays of light into a lens. When you bounce one in, it stays there. When you bounce another one in, it goes straight through, but comes out with the first ray attached to it. It's like this that you construct a ray large enough to knockout the alien control panel.

The graphics are quite nice, though not half as detailed as they could have been. Everything moves about at quite a speed, and there's no slowing down when you've got 6 or 7 rays of energy bouncing around. Backgrounds are nothing exciting, but there is a very nice scrolling landscape behind them.

There are some OK 48K sound effects, but the 128K sounds are really superb. Add to that a continuous tune playing throughout and you've got a quite decent amount of sound.

It all plays very nicely, if a little easily. In fact, I found very little to challenge my gameplaying skills, and I'm not exactly red hot. (Ain't that the truth? - TH). A very nice bounce-the-lines game, and a real bargain at the price.

Label: Mastertronic
Author: Simon Price
Price: £2.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Lots of bouncing laser-type fun. A good larf, and great for the price.


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1. Light Rays

These bounce around being harmless until you build them into bigger, more powerful lasers.

2. Emitters

Emit the light rays (well they would, wouldn't they) and when you trap a ray or let one go off screen, these spew forth another.

3. Lens

It's this you use to catch and increase the rays of light.

4. Alien Control Panel

Once you think you've got the laser long enough, bounce it into this to destroy it and complete the screen.

5. Aliens

These wander about aimlessly moving in a set path, and they'll kill you should you accidentally knock into them. Harmless otherwise.

6. Your ship

A nimble thing, you bounce lasers off its sides and, as it's round, you can only hope that you'll get them to go into the correct direction.