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Silversoft Ltd
1983
Arcade: Maze
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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100
Chris Bourne

Working for the Acme Robot Manufacturing Co. is not an easy business when the robots keep running riot. You're in the control room one day when you notice the robots are out and playing dangerously. The only answer is to send out the Bomber!

Silversoft have taken a well worn theme, turned it on its head, and come out with a new type of game. For want of a better comparison this is a backward 'Pac Man' type game. Instead of eating dots, here you lay them.

The screen represents the factory corridors, a reasonably complex maze. When the game starts the bomber, 'you', must move round the corridors laying mines. To complete the screen every corridor must be laid. This tempts the king robot out of his central lair, so that you can get in and progress to the next level.

What you're up against is a handful of different robots (ghosts backwards?) which start to materialise in the four corners, until the screen is running with them. Fortunately there is also a power mite, which replenishes your rapidly fading supply when you run over it. As soon as you do, another materialises somewhere else. Another unpleasant problem is that all round the central enclosure the corridors are cut off by several sliding doors which open and close. Not only does this hinder your mine-laying program, it also can get you nastily trapped if you're not careful.

CRITICISM

'An original idea, and a good one at that. A bit slow at first, but as the game progresses the action gets livelier. Quite tense, when having laid the last mine, you have only 30 seconds to get into the control room once the king robot is out.'

'It's similarity to 'Pac Man' is a bit off-putting at first, but I warmed quite rapidly to this game after 10 minutes playing. Although it isn't exactly fast, it turns out to be quite demanding on the player. Perhaps better suited to younger players than hardened addicts, but actually quite addictive anyway. Nice colours and amusingly animated characters.'

'A good use of colour and nice, smooth graphics combined with the continuous sound, make this into a good-average game. An advance on 'Pac Man', it is one of those maze games that will probably appeal to many. I didn't find it all that addictive, although very playable after a few minutes. The opening and shutting doors, adds a touch of drama too, especially as it can put you In a tight spot, and frustratingly cut you off at the last second from your power mite! Not bad at all.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: very good, L/K left/right, KIM up/down
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: responsive
Colour good
Graphics: good
Sound: continuous, average
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3
Screens: multiple

General Rating: Above average, very good for younger players.

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Screenshot Text

The robots are revolting - but the game's okay!