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Zeppelin Games Ltd
1992
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

16
Jon Pillar
Chris Bourne

Let's not bother with the plot - this horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up could be sold just as effectively with a completely blank inlay. No, let's skip lightly over the workmanlike background story and move onto what you really want to know.

Okay. You're a pilot. and you've stumbled across an army that's invaded the country without even having the decency to tell anyone. Battening down the hatches, or whatever you do with planes, you set out to single-handedly repel the bad guys.

Q10 encapsulates the best and the worst of the shoot-'em-up genre. It's fast, extremely playable and has well-defined graphics. The grab factor is high, and there's plenty of action on the whizzily busy screen. The designers have planned their game well - the waves of planes appear at the same points every time, so you can get that extra bit further each time.

One particularly commendable feature is that instead of just lying around, power-ups are carried by massive mid-level baddies. This makes the game just that leetle more interesting, as it's hard to defeat the baddies without the very power-ups they're guarding. (Cackle! Cackle!)

On the down side though, there are a lot of things wrong with the game. As with most shoot-'em-ups, the action gets repetitive. There's an attempt to bring in new features with later levels - for example, the missile launchers of Level Three - but it's not enough to avoid the dreaded Apathy Attack. But the most damning fault is the scenery. Some bight spark obviously thought the levels looked a bit bare, and so popped in some rather nicely-drawn scrolling scenery. This serves to brilliantly camouflage the enemy bullets, with the result that you can be shot down without even noticing the danger. Aarghhh!

This is a real shame, as Q10 could have been so much better. Fundamentally, it's a sound little game, and there are some good ideas in it. The trouble is, it's got no lasting appeal. You'll play it a lot the first tine you load it up, but once you switch it off the tape will lie dusty and forgotten.

Instant playability, zilch in the way of lasting appeal. One of those load it-play it-bin it games.

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