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Crystal Computing
Martin S. Horsley
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links

Chris Bourne

Both of Crystal's pre-Christmas arcade releases were copies of well known originals from the arcades, Invasion of the Body Snatchas we reviewed in the last month's issue. Rommel's Revenge is probably the best Spectrum version yet of the favourite 'Battle Zone' game. There's a natural comparison here with Antic's very successful 3D Combat Zone, and it's arguable as to which is the better since in many respects they are quite different.

The display is set on a flat plain surrounded by mountains and even an active volcano. Numerous buildings and other objects like telegraph poles litter the landscape. In the centre of the screen is a gun sight, and above it a radar screen with sweep arm on which enemy tanks are seen as dots. You, of course, are in command of a tank, and controls allow for forward and reverse movement with rotation left and right. All the graphics are in a hollow 3D which allows all sides of an object to be seen at once. The object of the game, quite simply, is to destroy the enemy tanks and stay alive. The more you destroy the more they come after you.


'This is the best version of 'Battle Zone' with more objects like poles, radar towers and spouting volcanoes. Missiles seem to take about the right time to reach a target and the game, generally, is faster. Against it is the sound, which is poor, no noises when an enemy explodes and only a weak plop when you fire.'

'It's a bit weak on colour, the 3D graphics are very effective and smooth, but everything is done in white lines on blue. The tanks all move a bit faster than the Artic version, as does the firing, but there aren't as many up against you at one go although it gets progressive ly tougher. Rather thin sound and I was disappointed with the explosion visuals - the enemy tanks just seem to disappear when hit.'

'This is a great game and very playable. The tanks aren't as over-intelligent as the ones In Artic's version. They always managed to twitch out of the way of your shots, but in Rommel's Revenge they still manage to be a match. Also the landscape is much more detailed - it's fun at first just to wander round looking at the various buildings and structures.'

Control keys: Z/X left/right, N/M forward/backwards, SPACE = fire. In addition - 1/2 sound on/off, V = volcano erupting or not. Both of these options speed up the game if not in use.
Joystick: AGF, Protek, Fuller, Kempston
Colour: poor
Graphics: good
Sound: very poor
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 4
Features: note special loading program which might make you think it isn't loading properly when it is!

General Rating: Good.


Screenshot Text

Strong but silent - the huge landscape of Rommel's Revenge.