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Palace Software
1986
Arcade: Adventure
£8.99
£2.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

78,79
Rachael Smith
Chris Bourne

Post-holocaust frolics as you search for the Sacred Armour of Antiriad, an Anti-Rad combat suit (Antiriad... Anti-Rad... geddit?) which is the only salvation for your primitive race In its battle against the alien invaders.

But be warned. If you own a 128K Spectrum, your people are doomed from the start... the game won't work on the expanded machine. Palace should be sentenced to its own dungeons for such incompatibility!

Anyroad up, while 128-ies have to settle for reading the accompanying comic, which contains this singularly uncomic history, it's up to the rest of you to charge around the sort of landscape that would drive a geiger counter crazy, leaping and bounding and avoiding all the pests that seem to blight every Eden.

Yes, at heart Antiriad is another dodge and collect arcade adventure, but what makes it such an animated diversion is its animation. I don't think I've ever seen a figure run, jump and hurl rocks quite so smoothly or quite so athletically as Tal. I mean, if he'd like to come round to my place for a rub down some time, the big barbarian hunk, I wouldn't say no... knowworrimean?


All in all, a lot of care has been taken with Antiriad's graphics, because the landscape is beautifully designed too, from the twisted trees of the jungle, with their swinging sloths, to the mystical high tech temple with Its urns and rough stone floors.

Luckily it won't prove too hard to find the armour in there. Once you've stepped into it, the view screen at the bottom of the picture springs into life, providing all sorts of useful information. Now you need to strip off again and search for the optional extras that all the best-dressed warriors demand. There are gravity displacer boots, to give you that extra lift, and pulser beams, particle negators and implosion mines to combat combat fatigue. There's probably even a set of fluffy dice somewhere.

Like I said, the graphics are Antiriad's greatest strength. Ironically they're also the source of its weakness. Control of Tal is not all it could be, probably because of his size. Responses can be unpredictable. This is compounded by the fact that pressing fire while he's running makes him jump, but if it's used when he's still, he throws a stone. It's therefore impossible to jump unless you have a reasonable run up, which causes problems on some of the shorter ledges.

My only other grumble is about the drip that falls from the temple roof. You'd better dodge it because if you let just one drop touch you, you're dead. Fail and you don't have time to move before the next fatal splash, and so, however many reincarnations you have left, they just drain away as you lie there, unable to escape.

Still, if you've got the patience to discover the exact positions needed to make the more crucial leaps, Antiriad is rich in rewards for arcade adventurers. Just watch out ... all that radiation could have you glowing in the dark!

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What do you mean, it's a bit tight under the arms? Most people would gave an arm or a leg for armour like this. Okay, so it's a bit lacking in the boots department, but if you try upstairs you'll find a wide range of shoes to suit.

The nasties tend to follow regular patterns, which makes it easy to them stoned... sorry - to stone them. Just bide your time then rocket a rock at them.

'Ere. Date's Tel over dere, isn't it? Naww, it's Tal. Well tell Tal dat people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but he'd better because that's the only way to do in de nasties.

What's on telly, Tal? At first your view screen gives the sort of pictures you get on Ben Nevis in a snow storm, without an aerial. But the tactical message window will keep you in touch with the suit's information banks.

One of the problems with nuclear war is the weather afterwards. Heavy radiation showers will be followed by a sleet to make your geiger counter bleep. So keep an eye on the indicator here for the latest rad count.

Only when Tal's stepped into his shiny new armour can you find out how you're doing. I mean, obviously, if you're wearing a suit like this you're going to score, aren't you?