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Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Chris Bourne

There is now an established tradition of cockpit view games for the Spectrum, some of the Star Trek programs may be included, Galaxy Attack from Sunshine Books, Spawn of Evil from DK Tronics, and of course Timegate from Quicksilva are all of the ilk.

3D Space Wars by Hewson Consultants is a worthy addition. It does not boast the complexities of a Star Trek game, but on the other hand it offers a more rapid encounter with the enemy and is more of a shoot em up.

The inlay tells you that you have taken command of your world 's last fighter-killer spacecraft, and naturally it is only you who can prevent the ultimate disaster - destruction of your civilisation by the unscrupulous race of murderers called the Seiddab. Now read on...


'There is very little setting up in this game, the minute it starts the enemy are there, massed right in front of you and attacking, so there's none of the complex cross referencing which makes many other similar games more strategy than arcade. The cockpit view is very good, with moving star backgrounds that give you a directional indication. Below the viewscreen your instruments are simple and to the point. A galaxy map shows the Seiddab clustering, and spreading, fuel and speed are shown as bar codes. Projecting into the viewscreen you can see the nose of your craft and its twin lasers. These both fire with very satisfying perspective beams which meet at the centre of the cross hairs. The Seiddab craft themselves are well drawn and move in three dimensions. The object of the game, naturally, is to get rid of as many of the enemy before they get you. There are refuelling points in space which you must locate before your power runs out. Very playable.'

The graphics give a good 3D view and the game is quite playable on the early stages. Successive waves of at hackers are more destructive than the last and it gets quite difficult. One drawback is the fuel supply - you have to keep an eye on it, and if does run down quickly. The game is good for 16K.'

'Movement and control of your ship is very smooth and positive compared to say, Timegate. Half the fun of playing is to become skilled at centering the enemy in your cross hairs. To do it accurately takes practice. A lot of playing appeal but I didn't think there was quite enough going on in the end to make it totally addictive to play.'

Keyboard positions: large range of options including cursors, six keys in all used
Joystick options: AGF, Protek, Kempston
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: good 3D view
Sound: quite good
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 1, defences worn down gradually
General Rating: Good.