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Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

In essence The Pyramid is a simple game, as all good games should be. Your hero is Ziggy, who sits in a little bubble capsule equipped with a 'highly effective phased plasmic laser' with which he can atomise any of the 60 weird aliens that live inside the Pyramid. This structure consists of 120 chambers on 15 levels, 1 chamber on the top level, 2 on the second, three on the third - and so on. The object of the game is to reach the exit on level 15 in as short a time as possible.

Each time the capsule touches an alien its shield power is depleted. When the shield has evaporated, Ziggy is vulnerable and will die it he runs into an alien. There are t wo exits from each chamber, protected by a force field. These are neutralised by crystals which drop from the top of the chamber after a certain number of aliens have been atomised. The crystals have three states - white, they destroy anything touched and deplete the capsule shield - yellow, they become vulnerable to destruction by aliens but are still too hot to pick up - and when blue they can be collected and used to neutralise the exit force field, although if the capsule is hit by an alien a crystal will still be destroyed. With each level the force fields require an extra crystal to neutralise them, so on level 3 it takes 3 crystals, level 4 needs 4 crystals - and so on.

And basically, that's it. Scoring is done by giving you 9999 points when you enter a chamber and awarding what ' s left when you exit. Points over 30,000 are coded and may be sent to Fantasy for publishing in their top 1000 scores every 6 months.


'At first I thought this was going to be an adventure, but no, it's a very unique arcade game and well worth buying with 120 screens, each one more difficult than the last. It will take a long time to master. Another bonus is the graphics which are very good - like Ultimate's style, smooth, action-packed and detailed. Good keyboard positions too. A very addictive game.'

'This game is nicely packaged and presented with excellent instructions. In playing it's enjoyable because all the colours are used, the graphics are smooth and very detailed, each character having its own movement and animation - there's even a recoil effect on the laser. The game is great fun to play, frustrating when you start to get down a few levels, die, and have to go back to the start. Very challenging. Hiked it!'

'Presentation and graphics are excellent and the range of control key positions and joysticks that may be used all add up to very good value for money. A highly addictive game.'

Control keys: 3 options - Q/A up/down, O/P left/right, bottom row fire; or - top row up, 2nd row down, A-G left, H-L right, bottom row fire; or - Z/SYMBOL SHIFT left/right, X/M up/down, C N fire.
Joystick: Fuller, AGF, Protek, Kempston, Mikrogen
Keyboard play: very resposive
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: excellent
Sound: good
Lives: 1
Screens: 120
General Rating: Addictive, playable and excellent value for money.


Screenshot Text

A mammoth undertaking - The Pyramid.