Paul Hargreaves
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

24
Mark Rothwell, Richard Eddy, Robin Candy
Chris Bourne

Long before a Reliant Robin had ever broken down on the M25, the Miracle Engineers had planned and built the crystal roads that led across the planet Plexar.

Now the Miracle Engineers are long dead and the primitive Plexarians have taken their place. Unlike their sophisticated predecessors, they are a superstitious race who send victims along the crystal roads to appease mysterious deities.

Few return from this voyage - but as a chosen 'volunteer', can you survive it?

Your journey is made up of two stages: the crystal roads themselves, and the diamond twoers where the roads meet and interconnect, joining continent with continent.

Each road consists of a series of interconnected squares, some of which contain lethal things that can end your life on the spot. Others merely offer the unusual, useful or hindering, sending you shooting sideways, taking you on a helicopter ride, propelling you forward across dangerous squares, or making you skitter randomly between squares.

If you've successfully navigated this roadway without too much mishap, you enter one of the diamond towers. These are weird places, full of complicated, vertically scrolling mazeworks of unidirectional conveyor belts, areas which simply vanish now and again, shivering colonies of pulsing jellies and obstructive walls.

And in the towers are found the patrolling servicebots that drain your energy at their every touch. To protect your meagre reserves, leap away from the approaching mechanical embraces.

A peril port at the top left of the screen changes colour and signifies when danger is imminent. Heed its warning well if you want a chance of survival - and never forget that against all this is the relentless countdown of the clock

CRITICISM

''Wow, what pretty graphics,' I thought as the intro screen zinged onto the monitor, 'is the gameplay as good as the cosmetics?' Yes, Plexar is very playable, and despite the obvious similarities to Trailblazer it kept me glued to the screen for a good while. Control is easy, and the gameplay is just frustrating enough to make you want to complete just one more level…' MARK ... 82%

'Bearing some similarities - well, quite a lot, really - to Trailblazer, Plexar is playable but frustrating. And it goes beyond Trailblazer with some features to vary the predicatability of your journey (transporters, for instance). Plexar can become quite tricky when the track is upside down, but it all adds to the excitement!' RICKY ... 80%

'On reading the instructions of Plexar I was expecting a run-of-the-mill maze variant. I couldn't have been more wrong! The graphics are excellent, and though most of the moving characters are monochromatic the colourful backgrounds disguise this. Plexar is very simple and instantly playable, and it's surprising such a simple game can be so addictive. One of my favourite features appears on the later levels, where a new dimension is added to the game - not only is there a tricky maze on the ground, but there's also one above you which has to be navigated upside down! Yet again M.A.D. has come up with an outstanding game - get it as soon as you can.' ROBIN ...90%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: excellent; mainly monochromatic, decorative surroundings in colour
Sound: nothing inspiring
General Rating: A neat and enjoyable Trailblazer clone.

84%
88%
86%
88%
86%

Screenshot Text

Blazing the trails in the third section of Plexar.

Flex those plexars and bounce off down the track.