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Virgin Games Ltd
1987
Arcade: Action
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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64
Dave Packer
Chris Bourne

Supplier: Virgin
Version Tested: Spectrum

'Better to live like a man than die like a slave' might have been an appropriate motto for this game; your aim is simply to attain Freedom, or die in the attempt. Rebel's scenario does a good job of convincing you that your freedom is worth fighting for, your diary entries paint a suitably dispiriting picture of life as a soya plantation worker in the state-controlled agricultural bloc.

To escape you have to break through a series of sealed compounds in a stolen Crowd Control Vehicle (basically - a tank). This involves collecting and placing them so that a solar beam, when triggered, is diverted to the exit and blasts it open. The screen scrolls in four directions as you move about navigating around the walls, buildings and other obstacles that hinder your progress. Your CCV can shoot in almost any direction (Spectrum owners - read that box!), which is just as well since you're under continual assault from helicopters, planes and a particularly nasty kind of indestructible tank.

Placing the reflectors is a tricky business, requiring a great amount of thought. If you align them wrongly or leave the CCV in the ray path, you'll lose a life when you trigger the solar beam.

The levels are always the same. Once you've worked out the reflector placing and alignment required on a given level, you've cracked it for good. You'll still have to find the reflectors and place them, and they are scattered at random to try and maintain your interest.

With 13 progressively tougher levels, you'd think Rebel would hold your attention. It does, but only for a short while.

Reviewer: Dave Packer

RELEASE BOX
Spectrum, £9.95cs, Out Now
C64/128, £9.95cs, Out Now

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 5/10
1 hour: 7/10
1 day: 6/10
1 week: 5/10
1 month: /210
1 year: 0/10

4/7
Bright (pink helicopters?) to the point of garish.
3/7
Nothing special.
3/7
Reflectors can give you cause for thought.
3/7
Enjoyable to begin with, but not enough challenge.
691/1000

Banner Text

SPECTRUM BOX

Rebel differs pretty wildly from the C64 version. There's no shooting, either by or at you. The nasties are all small and square to avoid attribute clashes, and move in fixed patterns.The main challenge comes in finding reflectors and working out beam paths within a time limit. There's a time bonus for completing a level, but fast work early on is still essential. Scrolling is smooth, but the windows small and the graphics uninspired. As for gameplay - good at first, but flawed.