Faster Than Light
1987
Arcade: Action
£7.95
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

110,111
Phil King
Chris Bourne

FTL's second release On March 1987) failed to arouse the enthusiasm of the earlier Lightforce, but it still boasts some impressive graphics, and rather more original gameplay.

You control a dedicated vigilante who aims to clean up the Shockway - a futuristic subway with moving pavements. Three sections of the walkway move at different speeds and characters can jump sideways from one to another. The well-animated figures get larger or smaller as they move between sections, creating a clever sense of perspective.

Danger is never entirely obvious as even normal-looking people may suddenly transform into muggers. So perhaps it's not too surprising that bonus points can be earned by hitting or throwing bricks at innocent bystanders as well those nasty villains. The main character must leap from pavement to pavement to avoid other travellers, as well as the barriers on later levels. If the hero should collide with anyone, he has a tendency to lose his head, literally!

Perhaps, because it was (unfairly) compared to the brilliant Lightforce, this was probably underrated at the time. Shockway Rider is an original and well executed game with plenty of playability. Definitely worth a look.

CRITICISM

75%