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Konami Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Andy Smith
Chris Bourne

Konami's flying lizard.

Cynics thought Salamander was one of those high class arcade games that could never be converted to an 8 bit micro and retain any of the gameplay and addiction of the coin-op classic. Were they right?

Far from it - Salamander has made the transition and has survived admirably. In case you've missed out, this horizontally scrolling shoot-em-up has the player flying a space ship through a series of alien tunnels, trying to survive bombardment from both ground-based and flying installations. Huge tentacles burst from the ceilings and floors of the tunnels and try to grab your ship - these have to be shot in the right place to destroy them.

The almost obligatory extra weapons are available to the player who manages to shoot a wave of the flying aliens and these weapons include the legendary Multiples - egg shaped structures that follow your craft and fire when you fire, effectively increasing and spreading your firepower. You get three lives to do the business, and if you're lucky you might pick up a few missiles and lasers to help you on your way.

The first re-start position is well into the game and until you've mastered the first few obstacles, you'll find being sent back to the beginning extremely frustrating. If you like your shoot-em-ups tough, you'll not be disappointed with Salamander, it's very easy to pick up and play and incredibly difficult to master. The Konami coin-op conversion team have proved the sceptics wrong wonderfully.

Reviewer: Andy Smith

C64/128, £8.95cs, £14.95dk, Jan 88
Spec, £7.95cs, Out Now
Ams, £8.95cs, £14.95dk, Dec 87

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 60/100
1 hour: 80/100
1 day: 90/100
1 week: 85/100
1 month: 60/100
1 year: 20/100

An addictive game that's no pushover - should keep the most expert arcade player going for quite some time.


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Though the tunnel walls are well drawn and colourful the installations etc are all in monochrome. Sound effects are O.K. but nothing to write home about. The game's playability and addictive qualities will keep you coming back for a long time to come.

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Salamander: You've picked up two 'multiples' which should increase your chances of hitting those tentacles in the right place.