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Rex

Martech Games Ltd
1988
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£8.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

90
Sean Kelly
Chris Bourne

First there's people jumping up and down about the hole in the ozone layer, then a public outcry because of all the seals dying in their droves when they would have been clubbed to death anyway and to top it all, courtesy of Martech, we have the worlds first ecologically sound computer game.

Yes, in Rex you get to play a mercenary dinosaur Right on! A giant power station is belching out all manner of nasties into the atmosphere like smoke, oil and pot noodle. Yuk! You've tried petitioning your MP and writing to That's Life but to no avail, so now you've decided to take the problem into your own hands by working your way through the underground caverns, getting to the tower and blowing it to smithereens.

There's only one problem - when you get to the caverns you find they're full of baddies all waiting to pounce on you. Not only are there the standard 'run about and shoot' baddies but nasties who fly around in little bubbles like the Mekon. These are really awkward to kill and will tax even the most dextrous of joystick jugglers. Then there's the missile launchers, which launch a constant stream of missiles which fall in a deadly arc. All this plus gun turrets, pendulums which lob bombs and droids which kill on contact.

All looks pretty bad until you realise that there are weapon pods knocking about at which you can collect progressively more lethal weapons to help you on your quest. Occasionally you'll come across a fuel pod which replenishes your dwindling energy levels. You also have a shield that'll deflect missiles and destroy any gun turrets, guards or rocket launchers you happen to walk into.

With all this lot you'd think you'd be able to waltz through every level without losing a single life. 'Fraid not old bean - this has to be the most difficult shoot 'em up since Cybernoid. Rex is very hard and very good to boot! It's a brilliant combination of tried and tested shoot 'em up ingredients like increasingly powerful weapons and the multi-hit recoil system which I'm sure will be copied elsewhere. 'What's the multi recoil system?' I hear you ask. Well, if you shoot a baddie he recoils from the impact until he crashes and dies. If you continue shooting whilst he is recoiling the score will keep on going up. just like in the cowboy movies!

Another innovation for shoot 'em ups is the use of Beam Pads which, if you stand on them, will enable you to begin a new life where the next inevitable bulllet hits you. Groovy eh?

Rex is a brilliant combination of strategy, dexterity and shooting and it has that vital 'just one more go' quality which so many games lack nowadays. I reckon it's as good as the original Cybernoid - and that's really saying something!

This has got to be the best shoot 'em up since Cybernoid. I love it to death.

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