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B. Halhead
1987
Simulation
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

77
Tony Worrall
Chris Bourne

This looks like a job for the Star Cops. (As long as we can keep Justin Hayward out of this please. ED) A rogue megacomputer, out to do a bit of dirty, has plugged into a US laser-armed satellite and has been taking the odd potshot at passing friendly satellites. This is rightly upsetting a few groundsiders on Earth and the call has gone out for someone to trigger the auto-destruct mechanism inside the computer. But how? Computer hackers are the answer, and as you are the best you decide to help out a bit. Armed with a single telephone number you dial into tho action.

Yes, Satcom is another game designed to inspire no confidence whatsoever in Pres Raygun's 'Star Wars' programme, but the basic game's about hacking and number guessing. Satcom is really just a cleaned-up version of Supercom, also from Atlantic, but it plays faster, there are snappy icons instead of text, and it's nowhere near as hard. The basic is to work out the secret codes via your data anaylser and a little guess work. The codes are not given in full, but you do get clues such as whether the figures are odd or even, and it's up to you to work out which they are. There's also a bit of guesswork needed when you're using or finding the telephone numbers and other bits of info. Overall, though, nothing too tricky this time round.

Graphics and response are adequate although the game's still a little slow for my liking. It should appeal to younger gamestars - and could help children with their number identification powers - but older hackers should enjoy it as well (I did?). Satcom is a good value little number with much addictiveness if you can stick with it, but if you already have Supercom you may not want another.

A great little hacking game - a fine follow up to the excellent Supercom.

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