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

15
Paul Sumner, Nick Roberts, Ben Stone
Chris Bourne

Rebel takes place in a time far from now. a time when the nations of the world have made peace and all are equal. There is no Third World, there is no terrorism. there are no 'reds' hiding in the closet - but the population has grown out of control and food supplies are dwindling. Unless something is done soon, famine will devastate the planet.

So the world's leaders, aided by their best scientists and nutritionists, set up thousands of 'Agri-dustrial ' plantations in each nation's most fertile and productive regions to end the crisis. These plantations produce high-protein foods, enough to alleviate the food shortage within a decade.

But this miraculous recovery has its price. Unbeknown to the majority of the population, the millions of workers who operate the farms were selected and drafted at birth. They are kept in horrifying prison conditions - and death is the penalty for disobeying an order or not completing the work quota.

Deep within one state-controlled soya plantation, worker THX2240 makes a bid for freedom from her hellish servitude. Stealing a crowd-control vehicle from the armoury, she breaks through to the outer compounds.

From there on, THX2240's movements are controlled by you. You have one hope: the solar beams which THX2240's plantation uses to support crops during bad weather. These solar beams are carried to the fields using reflector stations, huge mirrors. By positioning the mirrors exactly, you can use the solar beams to blast through the exit to the outside world on each level.

Mirrors appear in blocks throughout each level. They can be swivelled through 180 degrees, or picked up and moved to another location. Take care, though - if a beam is deflected or shot out of the compound, one of THX2240's four lives is lost. The threat of death also comes from the plantation's patrol squads, surveillance machines and trains. (Rebel ends when all THX2240's lives have been used, or when the bonus score, which starts off at 5D0, counts down to zero.)

The scrolling playing area is viewed from above, with the action taking place in the central two thirds of the screen.

CRITICISM

'Rebel is so hard it'll have you on the floor in tears - so if you have the time and patience, it's recommended. The graphics are excellent and the sound is good, though there's not much variety in the sound and it gets monotonous. Also, if you hate wading through instructions, remember there's nothing to wade through in Rebel!' PAUL ... 88%

'Rebel is another game with smooth scrolling over pretty backgrounds, like Shadow Skimmer. But there are some quite neat new ideas here. The graphics are brilliant, and I really like the water effect in the rivers running through the play area. My only grudge is the lack of sound effects; there's an excuse for a tune at the start, but hardly anything else.' NICK ... 79%

Games like Rebel have been around for as long as the Spectrum. Programming techniques have improved, so things are generally a lot slicker - but Rebel is a simple, unoriginal and pretty unplayable game. The early levels are pretty simple: it's just a matter of wandering around, positioning mirrors and dodging the nestles. And the sound is minimal, a poor tunette and virtually no effects. Rebel's only redeeming feature is the graphics - nice characters, a well-detailed playing area and speedy scrolling. On the whole, though, I wouldn't go for this.' BEN ... 62%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: Interesting, good colour and shading
Sound: few FX
Options: ten skill levels
General Rating: An above-average arcade adventure/puzzle which demands some brainwork.

73%
77%
61%
72%
76%

Screenshot Text

The far from peaceful agricultural landscape harbours rebellious visionaries like THX2240.

That's your tank in the centre of the screen, around you the Soya plantation network and one mirror already positioned.