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US Gold Ltd
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Marcus Berkmann
Chris Bourne

Awful lot of TMs around this month, aren't there? Rygar, of course, is based on one of 1987's spankier shoot 'em ups and originally came out on US Gold, where it sold pots. Now regurgitated for the cheapie market, it somehow looks less impressive than it did on first viewing. All you really have to do is run along to the right shooting everything from the usual nasties to strange rocks that emerge from the ground which invariably seem to conceal (a la Athena) useful things like gems and better weapons. Initially it's dead easy, which rather reduces the challenge, but don't be put off, as it does get harder as it proceeds. There's not a lot of variation, though, and once again you remember that the original arcade version, while wonderful to look at, was hardly the most sophisticated coin-op in gameplay terms. Remove the amazing graphics and the result is always likely to be on the thin side.

With smallish sprites, and little in the way of interesting backgrounds to look at, it's just a little disappointing, but for a cheapie, Rygar should keep your trigger finger happy for a week or two, and there are no complaints about speed or smoothness. Not for sophisticates, but reasonable fun for the violently inclined.