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Domark Ltd
1990
Arcade: Vehicle Combat
£9.99
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

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55
David Upchurch
Chris Bourne

Virgin Mastertronics's 'Ironman' or Domark's Badlands - Which is King of the Road?

From the post-Apocalypse rubble they came - men and women so hard that they used barbed wire for dental floss. No more Mr Softy Super Sprint larks for them. They armoured their cars and mounted cannons on top and took up the dangerous and ruthless pastime of racing in the Badlands; the desolate ruins left after the nuclear conflict.

The bare bones of the game are identical to Super Off Road. You (and a friend) play on eight tracks. Finishing behind the computer drones loses you one of your two credits. Occasionally gold wrenches appear on the track and can be picked up by running over them. These can be used to buy upgrades between races.

Controls are the same as Super Off Road, except there are no Nitros, but this is compensated for by your roof-mounted cannon. Shooting another car slows them down and also makes them drop any wrenches they may have picked up. so you can nip in there and take them for yourself (ha!).

Reviewer: David Upchurch

RELEASE BOX
Amiga, £24.99, Out Now
Atari ST, £24.99, Out Now
IBM PC, £24.99, Imminent
C64, £19.99 cart, Out Now
Amstrad CPC, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
Spectrum, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 3/5
1 hour: 4/5
1 day: 2/5
1 week: 1/5
1 month: 0/5
1 year: 0/5

Mediocre presentation. The action holds your attention for a while and the weapons add much-needed spice, but on Speccy and CPC the poor graphics and slowness kill any addictiveness very quickly.

5/10
4/10
3/10
5/10
689/1000

Banner Text

SPECTRUM VERSION

Very drab backgrounds. Because the cars are coloured differently our old friend Mr Colour Clash pops up again. Unfortunately it's more than a minor niggle - when the cars are crashing, it's easy to lose track of which is yours in the mess of colours.

AMSTRAD VERSION

By far the worst version. The background graphics are identical to the Spectrum's; very blocky and lacking any 3D effect (i.e. foreground buildings to travel behind). This might have been excusable had the game played okay, but it doesn't - everything is painfully slow. Avoid.

Graphics: 4/10

Audio: 4/10

IQ Factor: 3/10

Fun Factor: 4/10

Ace Rating: 656/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 3/5

1 hour: 4/5

1 day: 2/5

1 week: 1/5

1 month: 0/5

1 year: 0/5

C64 VERSION

As with Ironman, this is the best 8-bit rendition of the game. Suitably fast, but the background graphics are a messy collage of pixels. Play-wise, the problems are the same as 16-bit machines.

Graphics: 6/10

Audio: 5/10

IQ Factor: 3/10

Fun Factor: 7/10

Ace Rating: 765/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 3/5

1 hour: 5/5

1 day: 4/5

1 week: 3/5

1 month: 1/5

1 year: 1/5

ATARI ST

Again, nothing new to report on the Atari front - identical to the Amiga.

Graphics: 7/10

Audio: 6/10

IQ Factor: 3/10

Fun Factor: 7/10

Ace Rating: 780/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 3/5

1 hour: 5/5

1 day: 4/5

1 week: 3/5

1 month: 1/5

1 year: 1/5

AMIGA

This is just a straight rehash of Atari's earlier Super Sprint with guns and seriously lack the bounce 'n' bash fun aspect of Ironman. While it's well programmed and fun for a while (especially with a friend to shoot at), there nothing here to really grab your attention unless you're a committed fan of the genre.

Graphics: 7/10

Audio: 6/10

IQ Factor: 3/10

Fun Factor: 7/10

Ace Rating: 780/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 3/5

1 hour: 5/5

1 day: 4/5

1 week: 3/5

1 month: 1/5

1 year: 1/5

GAME SPECS

Number Of Vehicles On Track: 3 - Up to 2 can be human controlled.

Number Of Tracks: 8 - Pretty straight forward, just scoot round as fast as possible. Occasional hazards, such as oil slicks, and spikes, add danger. Some tracks are animated, with opening and closing short-cut gates, snipers firing at you from towers and other goodies. Later you can bump into trackside objects to cause further mayhem (i.e. knock over water towers to make the track slippy). The different tracks are played one alter another, so it won't be long before you've soon all the variations.

Upgrades: Missiles - Allow you to totally destroy other cars.

Shields - Protect you from attack by other vehicles.

Speed - Increases maximum speed possible.

Turbos - Increase rate of acceleration.

Tires - Improve road holding when cornering.

Brakes - Help you reduce speed more quickly.

You can have up to 99 Missiles and Shields. The rest of the upgrades have six possible "levels" of effectiveness.

Screenshot Text

ATARI ST - Tearing around the Prison Yard. Take care not to get crushed between the opening and shutting gates or picked off by the snipers in the towers!

C64 - In the City there's a thousand things I want to shoot at you... (Yes, it's spot the lyric time!).

AMSTRAD CPC - Yes, this is NOT a Spectrum screenshot! Do not adjust your computer... the two versions are near identical.