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Zeppelin Games Ltd
1988
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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86
Paul Sumner, Kati Hamza
Chris Bourne

The eight sectors of your planet are under alien attack. As a trained mercenary you do not hesitate in volunteering to clear each sector of enemy craft and hunt out the vital pieces of a blueprint which, when assembled, allow your ship's weapon computer to lock on to the alien leader's mothercraft.

The player hurtles through space over a vertically scrolling background of futuristic structures, bridges and platforms. Hostile enemy craft appear in various formations from above, and collision with any of these causes instant death.

Collectable lettered icons temporarily improve the defensive equipment of the player's craft. Forcefields provide a few moments of invulnerability, and pockets of gravitational acceleration increase speed.

Following a climactic confrontation with the sector's mothership, the players vessel automatically lands in the alien camp. The player is transported into a maze of passages viewed from above. Carefully avoiding the deadly flight of deadly birds, the complex is negotiated in order to collect a section of blueprint and return safely to the ship.

Successful completion of a level rewards the player with a password to the next, and the appropriate password allows access to any level at the beginning of the game. Once all the blueprints have been collected the alien leader's fate is sealed

CRITICISM

'Sabotage is an attractive and competent rendering of the ageing shoot 'em up theme with a couple of small variation: the password system (an effective antidote against the boring repetition of levels you already know back to front) and the maze element which comes as a welcome break from bombing and blasting. Although sound is virtually non-existent, the monochrome backdrops are suitably atmospheric, difficulty is nicely graded and the scrolling is smooth. All the elements of a compelling (if unspectacular) game are present; whether you take up Zeppelin's challenge ultimately depends on just how addicted to quick-fire blasting you are.' KATI ... 60%

'Why can't people come out with something even slightly original in the budget market nowadays. The fist stage of Sabotage is very reminiscent of FTL's Lightforce, except in monochrome, negating the whole point of Lightforce, which was its clever use of colour. The bonus stage is hardly worth mentioning: it contains crude characters and present very little challenge to the average player (ie Nick Roberts!). If you're after a simple and cheap Lightforce clone then Sabotage may appeal to you; I detested it though.' PAUL ... 35%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: oversized monochrome graphics on first stage - tiny and tiny and colourful on the second
Sound: mediocre sound effects
General Rating: A low starting point for a new company.

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Screenshot Text

It's all a (Light)farce.