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1984
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 16K
None

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114
Chris Bourne

In a world turned upside down and back to front, the Baddies are back again as Seiddab. We first encountered them in the deepest reaches of space, alone in our attack craft in 3D Space Wars. Now the Seiddab have landed on earth and are attacking the cities at night.

You are in control of a 'Drone' - a sort of remote control modern tank, patrolling the streets on the look out for the Seiddab space ship in your sector. The screen display shows a 'cockpit' view through the front of your tank, the details of its armour plated front and hatches before you. Beyond that, the darkened city streets stretch out in perspective, the sides lined by glass tower blocks ablaze with- myriad lights, their inhabitants evidently happily unaware of the nightmare taking place outside.

Below the cockpit view there is a local A to Z street finder - a radar which shows the city blocks, streets and the enemy fliers as well as your own position. This radar actually wraps around top to bottom and left to right, and so is theoretically infinite. To its left are your three drones (lives) and the status of your man. To the right are the scores for players one and two and the hi-score.

The object of the game is to destroy at least ten Seiddab (on the first screen - more later) at which time your radar will detect the Task Force Leader and identify him by a trail left on the radar. To clear the screen you must destroy him whereupon the action switches to the countryside.

CRITICISM

'The game is fairly decent but a little on the slow side. Reasonable graphics and good explosion effects. I found my interest began to wane quite soon'.

'The 3D graphics work really well in this game, which almost borders on being a simulation. The city streets of Birmingham may not be so wide, but the night time view of this city centre certainly looks like the Bull Ring Centre! I liked the idea of your drone's missile launcher, which fires from above your head, leaving a smokey trail behind it, as it homes in on the Seiddab attack craft. It's path can be guided by keeping the enemy fired at in the sights - not an easy task as they jiggle about all over the place, often sneakily firing from outside your traverse range. Forward control is automatic, allowing you to traverse left and right and raise or lower the gun sight. You can turn at right angles only at street intersections. It is quite difficult to find and track down the task force leader, but thrilling when you finally spot him. The next screen cuts to the countryside, with the city twinkling in the distance, and the Seiddab attack in waves, dropping bombs on you which you must shoot down before they land. I liked this game much better than 3D Combat Zone or Rommel's Revenge.'

'The graphics work very well, with only one complaint. 'You' are the flashing dot on the radar screen, but in the heat of battle it's very confusing and might have been better if 'you' could have showed up in a different colour to those of the enemy dots. You must watch your ammo, although the Hewson drones seem to have a generous amount on board. All in all, quite an enjoyable and challenging game. Don't be put off by its apparent slowness at first, it grows on you anyway.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Cursors with 0 to fire
Joystick: AGF, Protek or cursor clip on, and Kempston (watch out for Kempston command during loading)
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour reasonable and realistic
Graphics: good 3D, fast and smooth with good explosions
Sound: reasonable
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: 3
Screens: 2
General Rating: One review unimpressed, but the other two liked it a lot. Good to very good, especially that it's all packed into 16k.

75%
79%
81%
78%
83%
78%
79%

Screenshot Text

Colour screen above - a fistful of baddies bomb the bezazz out of Birmingham.

Below - retiring to the peace and quiet of the country proves fruitless.