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Super Sparklers
Mark Rivers
1986
Arcade: Action
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

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125
Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

Here's a game that gives you the chance to be an SAS hero - if you think you can handle it! You take the role of Rock Hardman, leader of a crack SAS squad, who's been chosen for a tough mission - in fact it's his toughest yet. A foreign embassy has been taken over by terrorists and hostages are being held. Single-handedly he must set this situation right.

You move diagonally across the screen, rotating quickly if a terrorist attempts to attack from behind. The embassy consists of a number of rooms, all of which house a deadly terrorist. You make your way through these rooms one by one, killing the terrorists as you go. Your enemies are aware of your position and make every attempt to see you off before you reach them, therefore it is important to eliminate them with your first shot whenever possible. You are endowed with four lives, one of which is lost each time a terrorist bullet hits home.

The embassy is a three-storey building, with movement between the floors achieved by lifts. The hostages are randomly scattered about the entire embassy, and you must search them out and deliver them to safety while eliminating the terrorists.

There is a time factor to be taken into consideration, represented by a system of diminishing points. You start with a total of 100 points, one of which is lost with every movement made. This total can be replenished by releasing hostages and killing terrorists, and you must have enough points left to escape when your mission is completed.

CRITICISM

'Wow! a good piece of budget software - I'm surprised - I'm shocked - I like It. Operation Thunderflash is one of those games that you can either play or you can 't. The terrorists really are nasty so you've got to be quite quick on the draw. Graphically, this is the first poor Filmation- style program that I've seen - the characters flicker a lot and they aren't really detailed enough. It would also have been nice if there was more than one type of terrorist. The sound is a bit on the drab side, with very few effects and no tunes. All in all, I still think this offers excellent value for money, and I recommend it.' BEN

'Visually this game seems very attractive on the surface - but in reality it contains little more. A closer look at the characters reveals that they are out of proportion with the scenery, and somehow look stretched. The animation of the people is kept to the simplest form, and thus looks very jerky. I found it very hard to get started, until I discovered that It was just a case of 'spin and shoot', with the enemies posing no real problem. The keyboard play is very erratic and extremely hard to get used to. Nowadays, if a 3D monochrome, arcade adventure wants to make an impression it has to be something very special - even at £2.99. Operation Thunderflash holds little lasting appeal. Not recommended.' PAUL

'The characters in this game are pretty poorly drawn and animated; the main dude looks as if he's two pixels thick- and if you ' re really lucky, you can see the other men through him! Variety is sadly lacking, as a lot of the screens look very familiar, and most of the terrorists are identical in appearance. Shooting the opposition isn't easy, as they shoot as soon as, if not before, you come into line with them. If you do get near them the chances are that one of you won't be going away! As far as value goes, Operation Thunderflash hasn't got much wrong with it. There are a lot of men to be shot, and, despite the fact that it looks very like a cheapie, it might be worth checking out.' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys: S up, C down, B back, J forward or Z anticlockwise, X clockwise, M walk, K fire rotate left, X rotate right, M walk
Joystick: Kempston
Use of colour: monochromatic
Graphics: a little flickery, unremarkable
Sound: spot effects throughout
Skill levels: one
Screens: fifty
General Rating: A fairly respectable piece of budget software.

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